Press release

Grayling: Government is focused on rebuilding the economy to encourage private sector jobs growth

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Remaining focused on the economy and driving private sector jobs growth is crucial to get Britain working again.

Remaining focused on the economy and driving private sector jobs growth is crucial to get Britain working again, Employment Minister Chris Grayling said today.

New figures published today by the Office for National Statistics show that overall unemployment has risen on the quarter, however it is broadly flat compared to last month. Encouragingly there has been a rise in the number of vacancies and a fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Ministers are adamant that reducing the deficit is their key priority and only by doing so we will see the economy grow and ensure that businesses are confident to hire new employees. Jobseekers will be supported back into sustained employment via the new Work Programme which comes on stream in the summer.

Compared to six months ago there are 300,000 more people working in the private sector, proof that new jobs are being delivered in the private sector as the economy is rebalanced. The Government is now pressing ahead with plans to invest in the “industries of the future” such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals and green energy. To encourage jobs across the country the Regional Growth Fund will promote investment and stimulate enterprise in run-down areas.

Chris Grayling said:

These figures serve to underline the scale of the challenge we face. We inherited the largest budget deficit in peacetime history and high levels of worklessness, which we are determined to bring down by rebalancing the economy and supporting private sector jobs growth - we are already seeing some improvement in the number of vacancies in the economy.

More personalised support for jobseekers will be on offer through Jobcentre Plus and for the long term unemployed who need extra help we are introducing our Work Programme in the summer, which will offer support tailored to individual’s needs so that they can get into jobs and stay there.

As part of its drive to support growth and rebalance the economy earlier this month the Government announced how it will strengthen its plans to push the growth of small business with a big expansion in the scope of its planned New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) helping to create up to 40,000 new businesses by 2013. Urgent steps already taken by the Government include:

  • announcing four annual reductions in corporation tax;
  • axing the jobs tax;
  • cutting the small companies rate;
  • expanding loan guarantees;
  • simplifying health and safety laws;
  • investing in science and apprenticeships;
  • promoting exports through major trade missions.

Notes to Editors:

Background to labour market statistics: January 2011

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers September to November 2010. The claimant count and Jobcentre Plus vacancy count dates were 9th and 3rd December respectively.

The number of people in work fell this quarter

  • 29.089 million people were in work in September to November.
  • the employment level was 69 thousand lower than in the previous three months, but up 184 thousand on the year.
  • the employment rate is 70.4%, down 0.3 percentage points on the quarter, and down 0.1 points on the year.

The number of people on JSA fell this month, although there are nearly 5 million people in total claiming one of the main out-of-work benefits:

  • claimant unemployment was 1,456.6 thousand in December 2010, down 4.1 thousand on the level in November, and down 144.0 thousand on the year.
  • the claimant unemployment rate, at 4.5%, is unchanged on the month and down 0.4 percentage points on the year.
  • in year to May 2010, number claiming incapacity benefits fell 8,300 to 2.61 million. More recent provisional figure for November is 2.595 million, suggesting level is falling slowly.
  • in year to May 2010, number of lone parents on income support fell 41,300 to 679,200. Provisional figure for November suggests the number has fallen further in recent months, to 645,000, driven by welfare reform.

ILO unemployment has risen this quarter

  • 2.50 million people were ILO unemployed in the September to November quarter, up by 49 thousands on the June to August period and up 38 thousand on the same quarter last year.
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 7.9%, up 0.2 percentage points on the quarter and up 0.1 points on the year.

**The level of economic inactivity is up on the quarter and year **

  • the economic inactivity level is 9.37 million, up 89 thousand on the quarter and up 73 thousand on the year.
  • the economic inactivity rate is 23.4%, up by 0.2 points on the quarter and up 0.1 points on the year.
  • excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 17.8%, up 0.1 points on the quarter and on the year.

The number of vacancies and the number of redundancies both rose this quarter

  • There were 157 thousand redundancies in September to November, up 14 thousand on the previous quarter but down 25 thousand on the year.
  • ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 480 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to December 2010, up 18 thousand on the quarter and up 14 thousand on the year.

Total weekly pay in September to November was up by 2.1% over the year

  • growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up 2.3% on the year.