The number of people in full-time jobs has hit record high and unemployment has fallen in all regions under the Conservatives.

Figures released on 17th April 2019 show that in the South West, there are 2,812,472 people in work, meaning that there are 318,156 more people have the security of a job than when the Conservatives took office.

In Stroud, the Valleys and Vale, the number of people who are claiming key out-of-work benefits has fallen by 743 since 2010 – an overall reduction of 47%, meaning fewer people now need this support because they have the security of a job.

The figures show that wages have risen at their fastest pace in over a decade as the unemployment rate is at its lowest since 1975, at 3.9 per cent.

With employment in the UK at a record high – including a record number of women in work and a record number of full-time jobs –more people than ever before have the economic independence that a job brings. There are currently 32.72 million people in work in the United Kingdom, an increase of 3.67 million people 2010.

This is good news but I hesitate sometimes about jumping up and down about good job figures as I know that everybody has different experiences of the job market.

When we have to get up for work in the morning in all weathers, rush around, walk the dog, sort the kids out, remember to eat a decent breakfast and then often still be working into the wee hours of the night… having a job may not always feel like a good thing! Similarly, if you don’t like your job, it can feel like a grind and being made redundant can be devastating for families.

There is however significant research that supports the fact that getting up and having a purpose to go out to work improves mental health, self-esteem and it is the fastest way out of poverty. What these latest rather dry employment figures also mean is that when the job market is good, people have more choice and can potentially move from jobs that make them unhappy. It also means that employers should work harder to look after employees.

So I do think it is right to celebrate the country’s successes and praise the millions of business people who have created this achievement (despite Brexit… wink).

Please also note that when Labour say that jobs created are ‘not good jobs’ all ‘part-time’ and dismiss the hard work of our businesses, it is not true. As mentioned above, we have a record number of full time jobs and there are sufficient laws in place to take to task any employers who do not treat their employees well. Their negative narrative on our healthy employment is sadly just one part of their constant attacks on job and wealth creators.


· Wages: Average weekly earnings including bonuses for employees increased by 3.5 per cent compared with a year earlier.

· Employment: A record high of 32.72 million (up 457,000 over the last year and up by 3.67 million since 2010).

· Employment rate: 76.1 per cent (up 0.8 points over the past year and up 5.9 points since 2010).

· Unemployment: 1.34 million (down 76,000 over the past year and down by 1.17 million since 2010).

· Unemployment rate: 3.9 per cent (down 0.3 points over the past year and down 4.0 points since 2010) – the lowest rate since 1975 and halving since 2010 (8.0 per cent).

· Youth unemployment: There are over 446,000 fewer young people out of work since 2010 – almost halving since 2010.

· Disabled people: There are almost 1 million more disabled people (930,000) in work since 2013, as we are breaking down the barriers to employment facing disabled people.