Letter4s: Jo Rust, February 3, 2015

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I understand why GC Smith (Letters, January 20) might believe government boasts of record employment levels, when you read it day after day in certain sections of the press it becomes fact, because surely they can’t tell fibs, manipulate figures or put a spin on things, can they? But sadly, it’s just not correct that after every Labour government unemployment is higher and only the Tories can get people back in work.

The truth is that people’s job chances are still far lower today than they were before the recession and the overwhelming majority of new jobs have been created in low-paid sectors, with many workers having to take a big drop in their salaries and postpone their careers in order to find work.

The government has been boasting that the number of unemployed people is now below 2 million for the first time since 2008. In 2010 the unemployment figure stood at 2.5 million. So that suggests a 20 per cent reduction.

Close to 80 per cent of net job creation since June 2010 has taken place in industries where the average wage is less than £7.95 an hour.

Nearly sixty per cent of new jobs created since 2010 are self-employed, that’s in spite of self-employment being a relatively small part of the UK jobs market – just one in seven workers are self-employed. Over 40 per cent of all the self-employed jobs created since mid-2010 are also part-time. But these newly self-employed workers are not the budding entrepreneurs ministers like to talk about. Only a tiny fraction run their own businesses, while the vast majority work for themselves or another employer – often with fewer rights, less pay and no job security. While some choose to be self-employed, many people are forced into it because there is no alternative work. The lack of a stable income and poor job security often associated with self-employment makes it hard for people to pay their bills, arrange childcare, plan holidays or even buy or rent a home. Mortgages aren’t issued to those with no job security and no evidence of wage history.

Eight out of 10 new private sector jobs created since 2010 have been in London, the North South divide is huge when it comes to jobs and work.

Under this government, wages, after inflation, have already fallen by more than £1,600 a year since 2010 and by next year working people will have seen the biggest fall in wages of any parliament since 1874. Even the governor of the Bank of England is on record saying the fall in real wages is the worst since the 1920s.

Jo Rust,

Prospective Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for North West Norfolk