During the general election campaign back in May 2010, I pledged to reduce unemployment in Amber Valley. I’m very pleased that this morning saw further encouraging news, with the announcement by the Office for National Statistics that unemployment is falling both nationally and locally.
Here in Amber Valley, unemployment has been falling consistently for eight months. It now stands at 2.5%, down from 2.7% in October and 4.9% at the time of the general election in 2010. Youth unemployment (ages 16-24 years-old) now stands at 4.7%, down from 9.7% in May 2010.
We’ve done much on welfare reform through ensuring work always pays and helping people back to work through the Work Programme. I’m pleased to be able to say that we’ve reduced unemployment by nearly half in Amber Valley over the past three years.
We’ve also seen some great progress with the Government’s efforts to get young people in to work via apprenticeships funding. Locally, youth unemployment has now more than halved since I was elected.
What’s particularly encouraging is that over 70% of the jobs that have been created over the past three years are full-time and not part-time, and for every one lost in the public sector, three have been created in the private sector.
Much progress has been made in this area and I’m optimistic for the New Year. Plan A is working – with increased growth, falling borrowing, and falling unemployment. We must see it through.