Record high employment levels

Recent figures released by the independent Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that employment in the UK continues to be at its highest rate on record, at 76.1%, with over 32.8 million people now in work, up 425,000 over the last year and up by 3.76 million since Conservatives took office in 2010.

In fact, the number of women in work is at a record high of over 15.5 million and the employment rate for women is at a record high of 72.1% – that means millions of previously overlooked women are breaking into new work sectors. 

Every person deserves the chance to succeed and provide for their families – which is why I am pleased to see that the number of disabled people in work is at a record high of 4.1 million.

Behind every employment number is a person and a family whose self-esteem, mental wellbeing, economic circumstances and life chances are all vastly improved by being in the workplace.

In the Forest of Dean, the number of people who are claiming key out-of-work benefits has fallen by 28% since 2010.

The total number of unemployed claimants in the Forest of Dean is now at 1,130. This represents a rate of 2.7% of the economically active population aged 16-64, which is 0.9% lower than the equivalent UK claimant rate.

More people in work than ever before means more households in the Forest of Dean, and across the UK, are earning a regular income, and more people are receiving a pay boost thanks to wages rising at their fastest pace in 11 years ahead of inflation.

Labour cannot be trusted with the economy. A Labour Government has never left office with unemployment lower than when it started. Just like last time – they would leave us with more debt, higher taxes and fewer jobs, hitting ordinary working people and hurting the people they claim to help.

With record high employment, and more diversity in the workplace than ever before, these figures show that the Conservatives know how to grow the economy – and make it vibrant with opportunities for everyone.