Prime Minister written question – answered at on 23 June 2022.

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Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

To ask the Prime Minister, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of employment in (a) the West Midlands and (b) the UK since 19 December 2019.

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Leader of the Conservative Party, The Prime Minister

The latest official statistics show the current (February-April 2022) employment level for West Midlands at 2.9 million – compared to 2.8 million in October-December 2019.

I trust that the following provides a comprehensive assessment and clarifies my previous answers about employment levels in the UK.

Further to my letter of 26 April 2022 to the Liaison Committee (a copy of which was placed in the Libraries of the House) and the Committee’s letter of 20 May 2022 (a copy of which is available on its website) concerning my previous answers to the House on this issue (Official Report contributions referenced in the letter of 20 May 2022; and also Official Report 1 December, column 911; 15 December, column 1052; and, 20 April, column 155).

The latest labour market statistics show that the total UK employment level is currently at 32.7 million, compared to 32.9 million in October-December 2019.

They also show that payroll employment, as a measure of people in work, is again at a record high. It is now around 627,000 higher than before the pandemic. At the same time we have seen significant improvements in national unemployment rates, which are currently at 3.8% and lower than pre-pandemic levels. It is important that everyone has the opportunity and support to find a good job to help them get on in life. That is why we are delivering on our Plan for Jobs – increasing the number of work coaches, seeing over 162,600 Kickstart jobs started by young people, and offering free skills bootcamps. And we have launched Way to Work - a campaign that will focus on getting job-ready claimants into work and support employers to fill vacancies. Together we will boost this country’s jobs-led recovery.

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