Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Washington D.C.

The Isle of Man has just released unemployment numbers for April 2020. These numbers from the Isle of Man Government are simply nonsense numbers. They have used a bad methodology which undercounts the true number of unemployment people on the Isle of Man.

Buried on page 12 of their report, they define unemployment rate absurdly tightly:

Registered unemployment is measured as a claimant count; those persons registered for Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). There is no legal requirement to register to receive Job Seekers Allowance.

Isle of Man Labour Market Report, April 2020

The IOM Government has decided to exclude the roughly 1,700 people who received the Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance in April from their dodgy unemployment numbers. The IOM Government is only counting those people claiming Job Seekers Allowance and not the MERA.

The Government says (!!!) that people receiving the MERA are “people who have either been laid off or made redundant from their employment”.

Excluding “people who have either been laid off or made redundant” from unemployment numbers is an obviously bad decision.

It is outrageous that the Government does not count these people in their unemployment statistics. Statistics should be honest and reliable, and the Manx unemployment figures should be fixed to include not just people receiving the Job Seekers Allowance, but also people receiving the Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance.

There were roughly 1,700 people who had been confirmed as receiving MERA in late April. Adding in those 1,700 to the 1,347 “registered unemployed” will give a true unemployment rate for the Isle of Man of a little over 7%.