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[un-allotted half day] — Unemployment

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 5:26 pm on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 5:26 pm, 14th December 2011

In a second. So when it is said that the private sector is not expanding, that is simply not right. People say that there are no jobs, but there are half a million additional private sector jobs. The hon. Lady made the point that that is looking over the whole period, so I will take her at her word. Let us look at the last month. In it, the number of people in work has risen by 38,000. Of course, we can all choose different time periods—Labour Members used the last quarter, for example—but my point is that selective use of statistics, such as that made by Mr Byrne, creates a highly misleading impression and talks down the British economy in a way that is in nobody’s interests.