The release of the monthly employment statistics is no longer the major news item it was a few years ago and that in itself is good news.
Last week we saw a further set of figures containing the good news that we have become accustomed to, so therefore it was not seen as major news. However, I see it as great news that since the Conservatives entered government, employment is up by over 2.7 million to 31.8 million which is well over 1,000 jobs created on average every single day.
Unemployment remains at the lowest rate for over a decade with the latest figures seeing a reduction of 52,000 to 1.6 million and the claimant count at just under 800,000 is down nearly 700,000 since 2010. Youth unemployment is down by over 360,000 since 2010 and is now at the lowest level in over 12 years. The national claimant count at 2.3% is close to its lowest rate since 1975, and in Crawley I am pleased to see that our claimant count has fallen to 1.6%.
We should never be complacent and remember that several years of good news on jobs could easily be undone by Labour being elected. Under the last Labour government, unemployment rose by nearly half a million, youth unemployment rose by 44% and unemployment among women rose by 26%. Perhaps most shockingly, the number of households where no one had ever worked nearly doubled under the last Labour government.
We should never, ever, forget that every Labour government there has ever been has left office with unemployment higher than when they entered office. History has proven that it always takes the Conservatives, the real party for the workers, to turn around the devastation of unemployment that Labour always leave.
To help people in work, the government have cut income tax for millions of the lowest paid, introduced the National Living Wage, as well as frozen fuel duty and doubled free childcare to help with the cost of living. There is always more to do but having a long-term buoyant employment market is good news worth celebrating.