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Private Sector Job Creation

Volume 574: debated on Tuesday 28 January 2014

The latest data published by the Office for National Statistics on public and private sector employment are available up to September 2013. Between the first quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of 2013, private sector employment increased by 1.67 million, more than offsetting a decrease in public sector employment of 433,000. Over the period, for every public sector job lost, 3.9 have been created in the private sector.

In Cannock Chase, 4,000 more people were employed in the private sector in the 12 months to June 2013 than in the same period in 2012, an increase of more than 12%. Unemployment is down 40% in Cannock Chase since May 2010. What further action is the Treasury taking to make it easier for small businesses in my constituency to take more people on?

To highlight one measure, the introduction of the employment allowance in April will mean that the first £2,000 of jobs tax will not need to be paid. It is worth noting that some believed it was not possible that growth in private sector job creation would outweigh public sector jobs lost. Indeed, in 2011 the shadow Chancellor said that that whole idea was a “fantasy”.

As the Chancellor is keen for an Opposition Member to endorse his growth figures, I welcome them—[Hon. Members: “Hooray!”] However, a report yesterday indicated that much of the growth in the private sector has been concentrated on London and not on other parts of the United Kingdom. What policies is he undertaking to ensure that the growth we are experiencing is experienced by cities across the UK?

First, may I express my gratitude for the first part of the hon. Gentleman’s question? As to the second part, he should be aware that in 2013 the focus on London changed and that only one in five of the new private sector jobs was created in London. Indeed, over the course of this Parliament employment is up in every region and nation of the United Kingdom.