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Employment Trends

Volume 587: debated on Tuesday 4 November 2014

A record 30.76 million people are in employment. Since the coalition came to power, employment has increased by more than 1.7 million. Over 2 million private sector jobs have been created since early 2010, meaning that for every public sector job lost, over five have been created in the private sector.

Can the Minister help my constituents, who are pleased by the record number of people in jobs in my constituency but confused by the Leader of the Opposition’s claim that our plan would mean the loss of 1 million jobs, and concerned about the impact that Labour’s pledges of more spending, more borrowing and higher taxes would have on jobs in my constituency?

My hon. Friend is right to point out that irony. Under this Government, we have just seen the biggest drop in unemployment ever. In particular, long-term unemployment and youth unemployment are dropping fast, giving hope, prospects and a decent wage to so many in our country. We should be celebrating these things and definitely not letting Labour put them in jeopardy.

Twenty per cent. of my constituents earn less than the living wage. People are working at two or three jobs and still cannot make ends meet. When is the Minister going to recognise that her so-called vaunted increase in employment is based on people earning poverty wages?

I completely refute what the hon. Lady says. A lot of the particularly big increases in employment have been among very young and older workers, who tend to earn less, but is not that great news for the longer-term prospects of those young people, who are off the unemployment register and developing skills for the future?