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It only took one tweet to correct the Tories’ employment lies

Boris Johnson looking shocked and a tweet from the Conservatives Twitter about employment

The Tories were trotting out lies and misleading stats about employment across social media on Tuesday 15 February. Fortunately, a trade union organisation was on hand to correct their falsehoods.

Latest employment stats: not good

Conservative Party social media has been focusing on employment. This is because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published new jobs data for the UK. ONS headline figures showed:

  • The UK employment rate was estimated at 75.5%… 1.0 percentage points lower than before the coronavirus pandemic (December 2019 to February 2020).
  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.1%… 0.1 percentage points higher than before the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 21.2%… 1.0 percentage point higher than before the coronavirus pandemic.
Real terms wages: fucked

Meanwhile, real terms wages (how people’s pay tracks with inflation) have flatlined. As a graph from Sky News showed, the money people earn has been stagnating for years:

A graph showing real terms wages

And the ONS backed this up. As it reported, while actual pay has increased:

In real terms (adjusted for inflation), in October to December 2021, total and regular pay fell on the year at negative 0.1% for total pay and negative 0.8% for regular pay.

People in work: disastrous

It also said the number of people employed by companies was up by about 400,000 pre-pandemic:

Read on...

A graph showing the total number of payrolled employees

But the number of self-employed people was down by over 850,000:

A graph showing the total number of people working by employment type

Seems clear, yes? Well – not if your the Tories’ social media. Because it completely misrepresented the facts.

The Tories? ‘Everything’s great!’

As it tweeted:

As the info in this article shows, the Tories’ claims are either lies or misleading. Luckily, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) was on it.

As the TUC tweeted:

The TUC was not the only one correcting the Tories’ falsified post:

Some people were very to-the-point:

Never trust one

There’s an old saying which goes: ‘never trust a Tory’. It seems that under Boris Johnson and Co. that phrase remains as true as ever.

Featured image via Sky News – YouTube and the Conservative Party – Twitter 

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  • Show Comments
    1. Down 600k in employment could mean all sorts of things eg women have left labour market to look after grandchildren or elderly relatives. Average wages also quoted by ONS and Tories is a terrible figure as its skewed by bonuses, overtime (I think) and some very high earning people. Mr and Mrs median would be better. Well done for pointing out the gaps in their statements. I think the Tories are probably Kryptonite for the Economy not great for it.

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