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Private sector jobs claim 'wrong'

The coalition has been accused of being "misleading" for saying that more than a million jobs have been created by private firms since early 2010.

The mid-term review said that making work pay was at the centre of the Government's economic and social policy agenda, adding: "Which is one of the reasons why there are now more people at work in the private sector than ever before, with more than one million more jobs created since early 2010."

John Philpott, director of The Jobs Economist, said the claim is "somewhat misleading".

He said: "Adjusting for changes to statistical classification, the correct figure is 900,000. Moreover, taking account of a corresponding increase in the size of the workforce, the assertion that the labour market has been performing better since May 2010 is also misleading.

"In fact, both the employment rate and the unemployment rate are unchanged, female unemployment, youth unemployment and long-term unemployment are higher, real wages have fallen and workers are producing less per hour worked."

A fair mid-term assessment of the coalition's jobs record is that the labour market has not weakened dramatically despite fiscal austerity and economic stagnation, said Dr Philpott.

"While ministers can take some comfort from this relatively benign outcome, it should not be overplayed as a success story."

The Government said the number of people claiming the main out-of-work benefits has fallen by 199,000, employment has risen by more than 750,000 on the latest figures and youth unemployment (excluding students) has fallen by 36,000 since the coalition came to office.

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