New and apparently official figures for the unemployment rate in Birmingham

“37 per cent of adults of working age in the city do not have jobs”

This compares to the peak of 76,000 unemployed (around 18 per cent of the working population) in August 1931 in Birmingham, during the Great Depression.

Although the two figures can’t really be compared, since in 1931 they were counting only the ‘insured’ workforce, thus excluding housewives. By apparently calculating simply on the basis of all “adults of working age” in 2009, a great many women staying at home with young children (as is expected in some communities) will be included in the “37%” figure.

Although even that isn’t the whole picture, since I know from my students that Muslim women will often work from home doing piecework (and often be prey to scams and exploitation as a result, one of my students loosing £0000s as a result) without showing up in the official employment statistics.