538 of my constituents claimed Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in November. That is down 293 compared to just a year ago and 42% lower than when Labour left office.
In our area unemployment doubled under Labour in the last parliament, up from 543 people unemployed in 2005, to a peak of 1175 unemployed in 2010. It is quite remarkable that there are now fewer local people unemployed than there were in 2005, despite the economic crash and great recession.
The facts are clear; the Conservatives long term economic plan is working.
Unemployment in the wider region fell by 8,000 between Aug - Oct compared to the previous quarter. Overall year on year unemployment in the North East is down by 11,000. Despite Labour's claims it could never happen, the private sector in our region has created 54,000 new jobs, many more than the 15,000 reduction in the public sector.
Across the North East there are now 36% more people in work compared to the last election. In Berwick upon Tweed the number of people claiming JSA compared to 2010 is down 42.% It is also worth noting that unemployment is down in Labour constituencies too, not that their MP's even like to mention it.
The number of people claiming JSA, compared to 2010 in Blyth Valley is down 24%, in Blaydon it is down 39%, in Gateshead it is down by 24%, in Jarrow it is down by 34%, in South Shields it is down by 21%, in Newcastle Central it is down by 21%, in Newcastle East down by 39%, in Newcastle North down by 39%, in North Tyneside it is down 42%,and in Tynemouth it is down by 38%. Labour politicians don't like to admit it but those are the facts. More people in every single one of our constituencies with the security of a good job and a regular pay packet.
I also want to address directly the suggestion by some Labour politicians that all of these new jobs are somehow part-time and low skilled. It is simply not true.
Again despite what Labour's spin machine might say, the the facts are that over the whole year the number of workers with a temporary job is actually down by 4% and the number with a second job was down by 8%. In the North East over the last year the number of full time workers rose faster than the number of part time workers.
There is of course no room for complacency when it comes to fixing our economy. There are still too many people out of work in our region, but the facts clearly show that the tough choices the Government has taken are working to get more people back into work. Labour has opposed every single one of those tough choices.
The North East Chamber of Commerce's Policy and Research Manager, Mark Stephenson, had this to say:“December’s labour market figures are a strong finish to a positive year, with every indicator heading in the right direction. Both the North East unemployment and employment rates have decreased faster or as fast as any other region and we once again can boast that we have record numbers in employment which is great news.
Recent ONS figures also show the North East economy grew ahead of the national average during 2013 and we are increasing our rate of export faster than any other region therefore all signs point to a confident and active private sector."