Here’s a chart comparing the unemployment rates in the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom from January 2019 to June 2020. At the time of writing, this is the most recent comparable data available for the Isle of Man and UK.

The source for the Isle of Man data is the economic affairs division of the cabinet office of the Isle of Man Government. It is available online here.

The source for the United Kingdom data is the Office of National Statistics of the UK Government. It is available online here.

Who is “unemployed”

It is worth noting that this chart uses the honest, internationally-standard, definition of the word “unemployment” as used by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and almost every nation in the world. The ILO created a standard definition of unemployment precisely so that unemployment rates could be compared across jurisdictions. That’s why the ILO definition of the word “unemployment” exists, and that’s the honest way to compare unemployment rates between IOM and UK.

Unfortunately, this is not the headline figure that the Isle of Man Government uses to define unemployment. Indeed, many good people have been tricked into mistakenly believing that the unemployment rate on the Isle of Man is currently lower than in the UK. It isn’t.

The IOM Government deceptively uses the phrase “registered unemployed” as it’s headline figure for unemployment measurements. This is very similar to the UK measure of “claimant count” to count the number of people who are registered and receiving specified unemployment benefits (which is closer, but probably not quite identical to the IOM definition of “unemployment” since there might be jurisdictional differences about the qualification for unemployment benefits).

The UK Government’s Office of National Statistics uses the legitimate, honest, internationally-accepted, definition of “unemployment” because the statisticians there are honest, independent and professional adults.

The bullshit Manx Government headline definition of “unemployment” excludes people that the Isle of Man Government has itself certified are unemployed! It’s mendacious, it’s awful, and the officials who mislead the public in this manner cannot be trusted. These are not serious people.

Whoever decided to create a local, Isle of Man-only, definition of the word “unemployment” has disqualified themselves from being taken in good faith. They should be expelled from any discussion of this issue, and they should not taken seriously as an honest participant in this conversation. Creating your own, local, definition of words is an incredibly mendacious act, it is dishonest, it is misleading, and everyone should reject such behaviour. It’s particularly awful here in the Isle of Man because we do not have the strong and vigorous institutions of a larger nation to hold this misbehaviour to account: we don’t have an opposition political party, we don’t have well funded investigative or advocacy journalists, we don’t have an effective parliamentary committee system investigating this nonsense.

(For excessive clarity, there can and should be local, Manx-specific policy decisions on how to respond to unemployment. But coming up with some local Manx-English definition of the word “unemployment” itself is complete bullshit)

Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.

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