Unemployment

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 11th March 2013.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Conservative, Harlow 2:30 pm, 11th March 2013

What assessment he has made of recent trends in unemployment.

Photo of James Wharton James Wharton Conservative, Stockton South

What assessment he has made of recent trends in unemployment.

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Unemployment has been falling in each of the last 11 months; on the International Labour Organisation measure it is down by 156,000. The unemployment rate is now lower than it was in 2010. This is testament to the strength of the private sector, which has created 1 million net new jobs since May 2010.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Conservative, Harlow

My hon. Friend will be aware that Tesco has announced the closure of a huge depot in Harlow, with the possible loss of 800 jobs. Will he work constructively with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, which is trying to ensure that the workers who are offered jobs in other plants get the same pay and conditions?

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

I can assure my hon. Friend that Jobcentre Plus is working with Tesco and has offered full rapid response team support. Discussions are focusing on redeployment and other opportunities to help the work force to secure new jobs.

Photo of James Wharton James Wharton Conservative, Stockton South

In Stockton South youth unemployment has fallen from 11.3% to 9.6% January to January. This is a welcome trend, but I would like it to go further. What are the Government doing to ensure that it can continue over the coming year?

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

I am delighted to welcome the news of what is happening in Stockton South. That is in contrast to what has happened in Jarrow, but it demonstrates the resilience of the economy in the north-east. The fact that 40,000 extra private sector jobs have been created in the north-east over the past couple of years demonstrates that while there are difficult challenges, the economy is rebalancing, and that should be to the benefit of everyone there.

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Shadow Minister (Justice) (Political and Constitutional Reform)

Will the Minister kindly tell the House how many young people are unemployed?

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

According to the ILO measure, 974,000 young people are unemployed, about 300,000 of whom are full-time students. Over the past few months there has been an increase of 66,000 in the number of young people in work.

Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Opposition Whip (Commons)

The Minister mentioned the so-called 1 million new jobs. With reference to the labour force survey, will he tell me how many of those so-called new jobs arise from reclassification and how many represent people who are under-employed?

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

If the hon. Lady looks at the labour force survey, she will see that the figure is 1 million net new jobs. She talks about people being under-employed. I hope that she is not being condescending to those of her constituents and mine who are working part-time and want to work part-time.

Photo of John Stevenson John Stevenson Conservative, Carlisle

Does the Minister agree that the economic success and, indeed, the social success of places like Carlisle depend on the creation of private sector jobs? Will he confirm that to help to achieve this he will ensure that it is always better financially to be in employment than on benefits?

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

That is absolutely at the heart of the roll-out of universal credit, which will mean that people know that they are better off in work, and better off working more hours and earning more than working fewer hours and earning less. That incentive to get paid work is at the heart of our welfare reforms.