Employment Statistics

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 28th January 2002.

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Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Minister (Department for Work and Pensions) (Work) 2:30 pm, 28th January 2002

It is always disappointing to hear of rises in unemployment, but the hon. Gentleman must put it in context. We have record levels of employment in the economy. Some 6 million people changed their jobs in the last year, reflecting the mobility in the labour market. For the hon. Gentleman to suggest that that is evidence of a growing national crisis is very mistaken.

The Government have the right policies to bear down on unemployment by the proactive management of the labour market. There would be cause for concern if the jobs were not available. However, the Government know of a third of a million jobs that are available in the British economy, and we believe that the total number of available jobs in the economy that are reported to us is about a third of the total.