Page 6: Conclusion
Does all this make a difference?
The new initiatives appear to be working. Unemployment continues to fall, and the number of people in work continues to increase. Independent evidence from NIESR shows that the net impact of New Deal is that unemployment is lower and employment is higher, and because of the impact of welfare spending and tax receipts, the New Deal has been close to self financing in its first two years.
One main aim of recent policy has been to make people’s chances of finding a job less dependent on where they happen to live. Job opportunity is measured in two main ways: the number of applicants for each advertised vacancy and the number of notified job vacancies as a percentage of the local workforce.
Graph 1 shows how the number of job vacancies, as a percentage of the local workforce, varies in different parts of the UK. It suggests that most people have a good chance of finding a job wherever they live. At the extremes, wide variations remain, but for about seven eighths of the UK workforce the ratio lies between 7% and 15%. This suggests that, other things being equal, for most people their chance of finding a job is likely to be at least half as good as that of someone living anywhere else in the UK. This data relates only to job vacancies notified to Jobcentres.
Graph 2 illustrates the success of recent measures in reducing the number of people unemployed for a long time. Notice that the overall pattern is cyclical. By 1994, in response to a slowdown in the economy, the total number of long term unemployed had risen dramatically to around 1.8 million. By the year 2000, this figure is down to just 300,000.
The labour market is doing better at creating jobs and fitting people into them. This has helped achieve another success. The UK economy is experiencing sustained economic growth without inflation. Another key economic objective has been met.