The Government has hailed what it is calling ‘an important milestone’ after figures showed that there has been a record rise in employment and a huge decline in the numbers of people out of work. The figures show that more than 30 million people are in work, an increase of over a million in the past year- which is the best figures since records began back in 1971. Unemployment has also fallen by 121,000 to 2.12 million, the lowest figure since the end of 2009.
The figures were revealed in a speech at the House of Commons by Prime Minister David Cameron who said that 1.8 million more people were in work than there were when the Coalition first came into power. He described it as ‘a record to be proud of’. Business experts said that the figures proved economy recovery was well under way. However, some unions pointed out that although employment rates had increased, the average earnings had increased by 0.3% in the year to May, which was the lowest since 2009.
Further figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the amount of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 36,000 in June to 1.4 million. Almost five million people were also self-employed, the highest amount since 1992 after an increase of over 400,000 in the last year. Both long term and youth unemployment continued to fall and there was a decrease in the amount of part time working people wanting full time work.
Job vacancies were also on the increase from 300,000 to 650,000. Employment Minister Esther Mcvey spoke of the figures:[quote] “With an employment rate which has never been higher, record women in work and more young people in jobs, the resilience of the country during the downturn is being rewarded. We know that there is more to do, and the best way to do so is to go on delivering a plan that’s creating growth and jobs.” [/quote]
The PM said that the growth in employment was not just a statistic, but represented ‘real families’.