Starting with some good news: recent statistics reveal that the number of people in work in the South East has increased by 103,000 over the last 12 months. This means that there are 157,000 more people in employment since the 2010 General Election.
There is always more to do but these figures are encouraging, demonstrating that British business is rising to the challenge of creating jobs and that we’re determined to ensure that all hardworking people benefit from the recovery.
In total, 29.84 million people are in work – up 80,000 on the previous quarter; 275,000 from a year earlier and up 994,000 since the last election.
Crucially, the private sector has created more than 1.4 million jobs in the past three years and that means that for every job lost in the public sector, the private sector has created three.
There has been a lot of talk about part time work and insecure jobs such as zero hours contracts.
In fact, the last year has seen jobs growth coming from full time jobs – an increase of 350,000 whilst the number of people in part time jobs has fallen by 74,000.
We’ve also seen an increase of almost 400,000 permanent recruits whilst the number of temporary employees has fallen by 72,000.
Whilst youth unemployment remains a challenge, the number of young people on Jobseekers Allowance is now 63,000 lower than in May 2010, having fallen in each of the last fifteen months.
Just to reiterate - there is a lot more to do but these statistics should give us all – whatever our political persuasion – a feeling of positivity for the future.