“Millions more people in Britain are without a job than shown by official unemployment figures, according to a study that suggests the jobless rate should be almost three times higher.
According to research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Centre for Cities thinktank, large levels of “hidden” unemployment in towns and cities across Britain are excluded from the official government statistics.
The study found that more than 3 million people are missing from the headline unemployment rate because they report themselves as economically inactive to government labour force surveys, saying that they believe no jobs are available.
It said the true unemployment rate should rise from 4.6% to 13.2% of the working-age population not in education. The OECD made the estimate by creating an adjusted economic activity rate, which removes students, pensioners, people caring for family and people with health issues.
In a stark analysis of joblessness across the country, the assessment raises the total number of people out of a job who could work from the official level of 1.3 million to almost 4.5 million.
The Centre for Cities said that urban locations faced the highest levels of hidden joblessness. Liverpool had the highest rate in the country, with around one in five working-age adults not in education finding themselves out of work.
At 19.8% compared to 5.8% on official statistics, joblessness in the city ranked just ahead of Sunderland, Dundee, Blackburn and Birmingham.
All the top 10 cities with the highest adjusted economic inactivity rates were found to be outside London and the south-east, and all tended to have weaker economies. In contrast, cities across the south-east had much lower jobless rates, with Crawley recording the lowest adjusted rate of just 2%. Oxford and Exeter were also below 5%. …”