MORE PEOPLE IN WORK
The Somerset Guardian, 20th March 2019
This week, figures released from the Office of National Statistics revealed that the number of people in work is at a record high of 32.71 million and wages have risen at their fastest rate in a decade.
Since 2010, the Government has helped over 3.6 million more people gain employment and the number of those not in work is now 3.9%, the lowest since this set of records began in 1975. Furthermore, average weekly earnings for employees have increased by 3.4 per cent compared with a year earlier, the employment rate has risen to 76.1%, almost 1 million disabled people are in work and there are over 439,000 fewer young people unemployed – almost half the amount that was recorded in 2010.
One of the major reasons behind this success is attributable to the Government’s reform of the welfare system. I mentioned a few weeks ago that when I visited the Jobcentre in Bath I was told that Universal Credit is helping people and this report is a clear indication that Universal Credit is becoming increasingly successful as the rollout continues.
The backing of businesses to create more, better paid jobs through careful economic management and modern Industrial Strategy is another way in which the Government has achieved this unprecedented statistic. Employment Minister Alok Sharma was quoted as saying: "Today's employment figures are further evidence of the strong economy the chancellor detailed in last week's Spring Statement, showing how our pro-business policies are delivering record employment."
These figures offer encouragement that Government policy is working although they may be rather embarrassing for the doomsayers at the Treasury which forecast a rise in unemployment of up to 800,000 if we voted for Brexit.