Unemployment has dropped by the biggest amount in 17 years as the British economy finally bounces back after the financial crisis, reports the Times (Kathryn Hopkins, p.2), Telegraph (Alan Tovey, B1), and City AM (Michael Bird, p.2). ONS figures revealed yesterday that the unemployment rates had fallen from 7.4 per cent to 7.1 per cent – just a whisker above the Bank of England’s 7 per cent threshold at which it will consider raising interest rates. But the bad news is that 7m workers are now living in poverty due to low wages, reports the Mirror (p.2). Average earnings were up by just 0.9% – less than half the 2% rate of inflation.
The average cost of bringing up a child to the age of 21 in the South East is almost a quarter of a million pounds, according to a new report by LV= insurers. The Cost of a Child Report found that a couple need to have an income of almost £1m over 21 years to fund an average childhood. (Daily Mail, p.5) Rising inflation has meant that overall cost has increased by 62 per cent in a decade, and the costs associated with the first year of a child’s life has seen a 50 per cent rise since 2003. (Daily Express, p.28)
Employment minister Esther McVey said that the young jobless should stop expecting to land dream jobs and instead work their way up by working in places like Costa Coffee. (Sun, p.6, Mail, p.8) McVey said that those under 25s without jobs should start in “lowly” entry level roles and graft their way to the top. Critics accused the minister of sounding like Norman Tebbit, the Tory who told the jobless to “get on your bike and look for work” when he was employment minister in 1981 .
Peter Whitehead in the FT (Executive Appointments, p.2) reports that those in financial services and accountancy scored low in terms of professional fulfilment compared to other sectors. Quoting research from Randstad, the article describes that the profile of the most fulfilled worker in finance is a well-educated and confident woman earning £45,941. The article invites readers to test their levels of fulfilment in a quick online test: http://www.randstad.co.uk/financial-and-professional-fulfilment-quiz/