New employment stats still leave the young ConDem-ed

Don’t be fooled – latest job stats still mean a generation is ConDem-ed

On one level, could the latest employment statistics published today are a cause for cautious optimism/overall unemployment down by around 65,000. Employment up by over 150,000. Crucially, for CWUYouth, youth unemployment down by 10,000.

But to even be cautiously optimistic about such figures is to indulge in a fantasy that the government’s economic strategy is anything but a socially divisive, morally reprehensible and politically driven “bust flush.”

Look a little deeper – those on jobseeker’s allowance are up by 6,000 to 1.6m. The long-term unemployed count now stands at its highest level since 1997 – over 440,000.

And above all there are still over two and a half million people out of work, and over one million of them are 16 to 24 year olds.

And the real horror stories are not even in these headline statistics. Those who have got work are increasingly subject to cowboy employment practices that would make John Wayne look like the tooth fairy.

Take the 20-something daughter of a friend of mine – plenty of qualifications but applied for a low-skill job on the minimum wage because that’s all there is. Competes with 40 other people to get it. Has a “zero hours” contract and is told she will never be allowed to work anything like a full-time week – but that she can’t work for anyone else either, and if she does she’ll be fired.

And let’s not even start to talk about G4S and the Olympics contract.

So that’s why today’s figures are not even a glimmer of hope on the horizon. And why we must expose the reality of what, in Britain in 2012, being young and looking for work that provides a living wage and the respect, dignity and the degree of choice that goes with it, really means.

And even if we work in large and heavily unionised companies like BT, Royal Mail and Telefonica, terms and conditions there risk being undercut by non-union outfits, or by high unemployment, or both! So bad employment practices and bad economic policies affect us all.

And that’s why 20 October – and the campaign for a Future that Works” is so necessary and important. Please visitwww. see how you can get involved.