Why the devil is always in the detail

first_imgWednesday 16 February 2011 9:14 pm KCS-content whatsapp by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailPeople TodayNewborn’s Strange Behavior Troubles Mom, 40 Years Later She Finds The Reason Behind ItPeople TodayTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeZen HeraldNASA’s Voyager 2 Has Entered Deep Space – And It Brought Scientists To Their KneesZen Heraldautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.com Tags: NULL Sharecenter_img whatsapp More From Our Partners Fort Bragg soldier accused of killing another servicewoman over exthegrio.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgFans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still outthegrio.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgColin Kaepernick to publish book on abolishing the policethegrio.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgPorsha Williams engaged to ex-husband of ‘RHOA’ co-star Falynn Guobadiathegrio.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comMan on bail for murder arrested after pet tiger escapes Houston homethegrio.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comLA news reporter doesn’t seem to recognize actor Mark Currythegrio.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comKansas coach fired for using N-word toward Black playerthegrio.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.com Why the devil is always in the detail Show Comments ▼ AT LAST, proof of what we had all been suspecting: official measures of inflation have failed to pick up actual price rises. Yesterday’s Inflation Report from the Bank of England contained a fascinating gem: the revelation that consumer price index (CPI) inflation has been underestimated by 0.3 per cent a year for the past 12 years as a result of an astonishing blunder by the hapless Office for National Statistics. The difference on the retail price index (RPI) measure of inflation was even greater – prices were going up even faster than the government had been telling us. The ONS over-estimated the extent of the collapse in clothing costs from 1997 to 2009, seemingly because it focused on prices during the sales and forgot about the rest of the year.This may seem like a small error but it was a major gaffe. Interest rates would undoubtedly have been higher every year during the bubble had the Bank known prices were going up as much as they were. Even half a per cent more on rates would have dampened credit growth and property prices; the bubble wouldn’t have been as bad. And anybody with contracts, bonds or pensions linked to inflation lost out because of the errors.While King’s revelations came out of the blue, the poorish employment figures were less surprising given the slowdown during the last quarter of 2010. Youth unemployment is once again a shameful blight on British society. But the labour market performance last year was more balanced than the headlines in other media might suggest. There were 500,000 job vacancies in the three months to January 2011, up 40,000 from the three months to October 2010 and up 20,000 from a year earlier, once again highlighting that skill and attitude shortages are a major issue. The number of people in employment was 29.12m in the three months to December 2010, down 68,000 from September but up 218,000 on a year earlier. In other words, employment rose by 0.8 per cent last year – even though public sector employment fell by 77,000, or 1.3 per cent. The badish news is that all of the annual rise was made up of part-timers, with the number of full-time jobs down by 5,000.However, total hours worked per week were 924.6m in December 2010, up 3m from the September 2010 and up 16m (or 0.8 per cent) on the year. And even though UK GDP supposedly grew by just 1.4 per cent last year, the private sector created an extra 1.3 per cent jobs (296,000, to be precise) including a net rise in full-timers. The private sector is easily making up for public sector job cuts, which have come earlier and faster than predicted. However, it didn’t grow enough to keep up with the labour force, which is why unemployment rose by 40,000 in the three months to December 2010, compared with a year earlier. The number of people on Jobseekers’ Allowance in January 2011 was 1.46m, up 2,400 on December but down 157,100 on a year earlier. This is not an especially useful figure. As the welfare reforms kick in, and criteria on benefits are tightened, more people will be reclassified as out of work on that measure, rather than sick. So far, this has not been a jobless recovery, contrary to what many have claimed. But much more needs to be done to help the jobless: the coalition needs to make it easier, cheaper and safer for firms to take on staff. Real action, rather than speeches about the Big Society, is urgently [email protected] me on Twitter: @allisterheath last_img

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