Pollyanna Con-Dem ministers failed to pull the wool over people's eyes today as they trumpeted rose-tinted news over unemployment, hiding a raft of woes.
The "headline" jobless figure dropped by 49,000 in the three months to September to 2.51 million - exactly the same number by which the 16 to 24-year-olds jobless fell.
But despite the jobless figure dropping the key number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance jumped by 10,100 last month to 1.58 million, the highest since July and the biggest monthly rise since last September.
And the youth unemployment figure - a major embarrassment for the government - is still hovering just under the one million mark while youngsters have been forced to take part in dubious "work" schemes, often unpaid.
Office for National Statistics showed that long-term unemployment - those out of work for over a year - actually increased by 12,000 in the quarter to 894,000.
And 443,000 people have been jobless for over two years, up by 21,000.
In Scotland, First Minister Alex Salmond called on Chancellor George Osborne to take action to create jobs and growth in his autumn statement in December as Scottish unemployment rose for the third time in a row.
A rise of 4,000 brought the total for the period between July and September to 218,000 and the Scottish unemployment rate is now 8.1 per cent compared with the UK-wide average of 7.8 per cent.
South of the border Employment Minister Mark Hoban said of the "headline" figures: "It's good news to see yet another increase in the number of people in work and to see unemployment fall again."
GMB union general secretary Paul Kenny said: "A lot of families face a miserable Christmas without any hope of getting a job. It is definitely hurting but it's not working."
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "If deeper cuts are outlined in the government's autumn statement, things will only get worse in the new year."
While Unite's general secretary Len McCluskey said: "The figure for the long-term unemployed remains stubborn and is a scandal. Ministers urgently need to change tack."
Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: "Beneath the headlines the worries are multiplying."
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