Grant Shapps has defended the government’s record on jobs in a pre-budget video for the BBC.

The Conservative party chairman said the recovery is creating new jobs in every region of the UK, with nine out of 10 going to British citizens in the last year.

FactCheck’s Twitter followers have asked us to run the slide rule over Mr Shapps’s claims. Your wish is our command…

fact108 FactCheck: Conservative job claims under the microscope‘Ed Miliband’s prediction was completely wrong.’

True. In a speech to the CBI in October 2010, the Labour leader said of the newly-elected coalition: “They have a programme which will lead to the disappearance of a million private and public sector jobs but no credible plan to replace them.”

But a million jobs did not disappear.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, there were 30.41 million people in work in the quarter to December 2013.

That’s 1.53m more than the last full quarter before the general election in May 2010, or 1.34m if you start counting in the second quarter of 2010, in which the election fell.

Most of these have been private sector jobs, which went up 1.68 million between the first quarter of 2010 and Q3 2013, the latest period covered by the stats. During the same period the public sector shed 433,000 jobs.

(We are counting the 200,000-odd jobs in FE and sixth form colleges – which were suddenly reclassified as private sector in 2012 – as if they were private all along, so the switch doesn’t skew these figures.)

So for every public sector job lost under the coalition, nearly four have been created in the private sector.

factfiction108 FactCheck: Conservative job claims under the microscope‘The recovery is helping all regions of the UK, with new jobs springing up from John O’Groats to Land’s End.’

Technically true, with a big but.

There are more jobs in every English region and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland than there were in May 2010.

If you are really eagle-eyed you will spot some numbers flashing up on the map of the UK behind Mr Shapps in the video.

18 shapps grab FactCheck: Conservative job claims under the microscope

Note that some of these numbers are more impressive than others. London has seen nearly 300,000 more jobs, whereas the tally does not stretch to six figures in the north east, the north west, the east and west midlands, the south west or Wales.

These figures include private and public sector jobs and reflect the fact that some regions have been hit disproportionately hard by public sector job losses, offsetting gains made in the local economy.

No number has been placed next to the “up” arrow hovering over Northern Ireland. The actual net gain in jobs here after four years is 31,000.

Note also that these are raw numbers which do not reflect the fact that the working age population has been growing in the most of the country over the last four years.

Since the election the employment rate – that’s given here as the percentage of the population aged over 16 with jobs – has risen slightly in most areas.

But it has fallen slightly in three of the English regions: the north east, the north west and the south west.

factfiction108 FactCheck: Conservative job claims under the microscope‘In the last year, nine out of 10 of these new jobs have gone to British citizens.’

Not quite. The Conservatives have used slightly out of date figures to work this out.

According to the latest data, 425,000 jobs have been created in the last year and 367,000 of those people said they were UK citizens.

That’s not quite 90 per cent – but it is 86 per cent, so perhaps we’re being a bit pedantic.

But in the spirit of the rest Mr Shapps’s analysis, let’s look at what has happened over the government’s whole term, not just the last year.

Since Q1 2010, just over 70 per cent of new jobs have gone to UK citizens and 29 per cent to non-Britons.

The ONS also tells us about people’s country of birth, not just their citizenship.

Presumably a significant number of foreign-born workers have been applying for British citizenship in recent years because the figures here are even more heavily slanted towards migrants.

Since the first quarter of 2010 756,000 jobs have gone to British-born workers and slightly more – 761,000 – have gone to people born abroad.

Read more:

Category: Conservatives, FactCheck
Tags: , , , ,