Employment stands at 31 million having increased by 265,000 over the past year, driven entirely by more people being in full-time work. We are now moving into the next phase of our recovery, with high-quality employment helping to boost productivity and raise living standards across the country.
I can. The Government’s long-term economic plan is working. Since 2010, we have seen the creation of 1,000 new jobs a day, but the job is not yet done. The Government will continue working through the plan to secure Britain’s economic future.
There has been a growth in the number of jobs in low and medium-skill sectors, and we should all welcome that. [Interruption.] I am sorry—I meant high and medium-skill sectors. The Government’s focus on the productivity plan is all about making sure that as we move into the next phase we are boosting those highest-value-added sectors.
Indeed. The food sector, from farming through to retail and catering, is hugely important, contributing £103 billion to the economy and employing one in eight people. In fact, food and drink manufacturing is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector. We will absolutely continue to keep its importance, in Dorset and more widely, at the front of the plan.
With the growth and employment levels that we have seen in Scotland, it becomes increasingly difficult every day for Scottish National party Members to continue to peddle their line, although I am sure they will. It is true that in the most recent short-term figures there was a slight adverse movement. As we move closer to full employment, we will not see the same large increases in employment every month, but year on year, as the hon. Gentleman will know, the position has improved.