From The Times.
Only 48 per cent of the population have a job, accounting for just over 29 million workers.
And more than a third of those are people working in the unproductive public sector.
However, the number of people paying income tax will fall in the next few years, with unemployment expected to increase even after the recession is over. Pensioner numbers will continue to rise, adding further pressure to finances.
As the article points out, this will put enormous pressure on government finances - and ultimately borne on the shoulders of the dwindling private sector tax payer.
Just over two million people in the UK are currently unemployed, about 6.5 per cent of the workforce. But the independent Centre for Economics and Business Researchthink-tank reckons that unemployment will peak at 3.5 million in the last quarter of next year.
This is blatant number manipulation. Does anyone really believe that the total number of people of working age in Britain - a nation of 60 million - is just 31 million people? Of course not - there are another five or six million who are officially sick or disabled and unable to work.
After 50 years of free national health care we appear to be more sick and more prone to disability than ever before. The only conclusion you can draw from that is that the NHS is a badly failing system.
Or that there are an awful lot of cheating bastards out there.
Actually, my money is on a bit of both. The NHS is over-rated - mainly viewed through rose-tinted nostalgia goggles. It did, once, appear to be quite good - but that was only in the early days when it was still running on the infrastructure it inherited from the previous health care system. That was largely gone by the early 1970's.
And there is no doubt that a lot of people are swinging the lead - but, to be honest, it's hard to blame them when they can lead reasonably comfortable lifestyles on benefits without ever having to get up for work.