Would the government be getting more or less flak if the GDP figures were OK but the employment/unemployment figures were not? We will never know, though people will always tend to gravitate towards bad news.
As it is, the news on jobs continues to be very good. Comparing September-November 2012 with June-August there was a rise of 90,000 in employment, to 29.68 million, and a 37,000 drop in unemployment to 2.49 million, or 7.7% of the workforce.
The claimant count in December 2012 was 1.56 million, 4.8% of the workforce, down 12,100 from November and 40,500 lower than a year earlier.
The composition of the latest rise in employment was also good, with a rise of 113,000 in full-time employment and a drop of 23,000 in part-time employment. Compared with a year earlier, employment was up by an astonishing 552,000, while unemployment was down by 185,000.
Was there any bad news in this release, available here? Total pay in the lates three months was up by only 1.5% on a year earlier, while pay excluding bonuses was up by only 1.4%. People are pricing themselves into jobs but real earnings continue to fall.