Recent figures released by the independent Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that employment in the UK has reached its highest rate on record, at 74.4%, with 31.7 million people now in work, up 624,000 in the past year and 2.6 million since 2010.
These promising figures show that this Government’s long-term economic plan is working and it is only under this Government that the economy is in safe hands.
The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.9%, its lowest rate since 2005 – half the average of countries in the Eurozone – with nearly 100,000 fewer people unemployed than last year. On top of this, wages continue to rise at an average of 2.2%, helping people who go out to work and do the right thing.
There is also continued good news in the Forest of Dean. Unemployment remains at its lowest levels in over a decade, having more than halved since 2010 – that’s almost 1,000 fewer Foresters claiming out of work benefits – and youth unemployment in the Forest also continues to fall month on month.
Furthermore, our welfare reforms are supporting people off benefits and into work. There are now 1 million fewer people claiming the main out of work benefits than in 2010, and over 2 million more people in work, while the number of long-term unemployed people has fallen by more than 25% in the last year to 638,000.
This is all in contrast to the record of the last Labour government, which saw the number of people in jobs fall by one million in its last term of office, causing an 82 per cent rise in the number of people on unemployment benefits.
The British economy is entering a period of significant change, but the employment figures show that the British economy is fundamentally strong and prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The Government will continue to build on this success story so that everybody can benefit from the opportunities that are being created.