You are currently browsing the daily archive for September 7, 2022.

Since the pandemic ended, I have been puzzled by the difficulty that British businesses have had in finding employees.

A month or so ago, employers encouraged older people to come out of retirement to fill in the gap. Not on your Nelly, folks. They were the ones who wanted us to retire because, for some, it was like working with their parents.

A year ago, it was great news to discover that the British government granted 6 million EU citizens settled status, allowing them to stay post-Brexit. That was twice the number that Home Secretary Priti Patel expected two years ago.

Then there are all the non-EU immigrants who have come here legitimately in recent years.

Therefore, one would imagine that we would have enough employees at the ready to fill our vacancies. After all, this influx has increased England’s population by approximately 10 per cent.

Not so.

On August 20, 2022, The Spectator reported on what is actually happening in Britain’s employment market: ‘Don’t blame Brexit for our lack of workers’.

Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

It has become received wisdom that Brexit has condemned Britain to chronic labour shortages …

It is a notion which is easily disproved, however, by a simple figure published this week by the Office for National Statistics which went woefully under-reported. There has been no drop in migrant workers in Britain. On the contrary, there were 6.3 million foreign-born workers at the last count – a record high. This amounts to an extraordinary 19 per cent of all workers – higher even than the United States. We don’t hear much debate about these numbers. Perhaps that’s because, since Brexit, immigration has become less controversial – as one would expect with the system now being under democratic control.

It is true that the number of EU-born workers in Britain has fallen slightly, from 2.44 million to 2.39 million. But this has been more than offset by the rise in foreign workers from outside the EU. This figure has risen from 3.37 million to 3.86 million. Indians, Nigerians and South Africans are now among the biggest groups of incomers.

Post-Brexit, entry requirements were lowered for non-Europeans and we now welcome as many migrants as at any point in our history.

Then we have the other side of the story, which is the number of working-age people on benefit:

Why does the number of vacancies stand at a near record high? The mystery can be explained by another under-reported figure released this week. While there may be just 1.5 million officially unemployed, there are 5.3 million on out-of-work benefits – sickness, incapacity and so on. That amounts to on average 13 per cent of the working-age population, and closer to a quarter in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Blackpool. Nearly a fifth of the population are on out-of-work benefits in Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool and Hull.

As necessary as it was during the time, furlough during the pandemic did not help. When furlough ended, it seems that a large number of people living in Britain qualified for benefits. Many people are now used to living on less and are content staying at home:

Studies show that the longer people go without work, the harder it is for them to rejoin the world of employment – and furlough proved that point. As the pandemic subsided, extra effort should have gone into providing job coaching and other support. Instead, that provision dropped. Now, those on Universal Credit can avoid having a weekly meeting with a job adviser by taking on just nine hours of work a week. Given the sheer number of job vacancies in Britain, the requirement should be raised to (at least) 20 hours.

The fact that 5.3 million are being kept on out-of-work benefits ought to be one of the most discussed aspects of British public life. But this scandalous number is not published by the government: it can be found only by diving deep into the official DWP database and even then it comes with a six-month lag. The figure is published regularly on The Spectator’s data hub, but nowhere else. Such is the lack of attention paid by the Tories to the welfare reform project that was the defining mission of David Cameron’s coalition.

The Spectator‘s data tracker can be found here. Benefits statistics are at the bottom of the page.

The new Prime Minister can spearhead reform in this area starting now:

Inflation is now officially over 10 per cent – with predictions that it may hit 13 per cent in October. But there are signs that it may then fall quite quickly.

That means now is the time for bold economic reform. For as long as the official number of job vacancies stands at almost twice the average of the last decade, there is no excuse for the Tories not to help people back into work.

Let us hope that Liz Truss and her relevant new Cabinet members will be willing to take on this reform. It will be an arduous task, and it would be easier to do nothing. However, this type of reform is something that only the Conservatives can — and should — do.


© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? If you wish to borrow, 1) please use the link from the post, 2) give credit to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 3) copy only selected paragraphs from the post — not all of it.
PLAGIARISERS will be named and shamed.
First case: June 2-3, 2011 — resolved

Creative Commons License
Churchmouse Campanologist by Churchmouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,545 other subscribers


Calendar of posts

September 2022
252627282930 - The internets fastest growing blog directory
Powered by WebRing.
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.

Blog Stats

  • 1,695,215 hits