Hands: employment levels at record high and Chelsea & Fulham jobless numbers drop too

Greg Hands M.P. has hailed this week’s good news on employment, which is up again nationally and in Chelsea and Fulham.

Employment figures released by the Office for National Statistics show the largest annual rise in employment in over two decades. The number of people in work for this period rose by 154,000 compared to the previous quarter, taking total employment in the UK to 29.7 million. It has risen by 880,000 since the general election in 2010.

This was mirrored locally, where employment rose and the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell. The number of claimants in Chelsea and Fulham was down again and is now 168 lower than in January 2012.

Across the UK, the number of claimants has dropped to 1.54 million. Since the general election, the number of people claiming the main out-of-work benefits has fallen by over 230,000. This is also true for young people and youth employment has risen. There are now 3.7 million 16-24 year-olds in employment, which is an increase of 29,000 on the previous quarter.

Commenting, Greg Hands M.P. said: “This is further confirmation of things looking up in Chelsea and Fulham. Welfare reform and a strong economic policy are having their effect.

“I’m delighted that so many people locally now have the chance to work and get on in life.”

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith said: "The fall in long-term unemployment is particularly welcome and shows that the training and support we are offering is helping people move off benefits and into work.

"These figures show another big increase in full-time jobs, half a million more British people in work over the past year and more women in employment than ever before.”