1,532 of my constituents claimed Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in November. That's down 90 or nearly 6.0 per cent in the last month and 816 or 35 per cent on a year ago.
The news regarding youth unemployment is even better. Of the 1,532 Croydon Central residents claiming JSA in November, 365 were between the ages of 18 and 24. That's down 30 or 8 per cent in the last month and 180 or 33 per cent on a year ago.
Unemployment in Croydon Central is now 1,411 or 48 per cent lower than when the Coalition came to power and youth unemployment is 405 or 53 per cent lower.
And it's not just that unemployment is falling - it is falling quicker in Croydon Central than in most parts of the country. When Labour left office, unemployment in Croydon Central was higher than the national average, today it is lower than the national average. Unemployment locally was at 5 per cent when Labour left office and the national rate of unemployment was 4.8 per cent. Now locally we have an unemployment rate of 2.6 per cent compared to the UK-wide rate of 2.8 per cent.
Each month when I tweet the latest good news on jobs, various Labour activists reply claiming that all these new jobs are part-time and/or low paid. It’s not true. Over three quarters of the 1.75 million extra jobs that the British economy has created since May 2010 are full time (and in the last year over 95 per cent are full-time). And two-thirds of them are in higher skilled professions.
There is absolutely no room for complacency. There are still far too many people out of work or in part time work when they would like a full time job. But these figures show that the Government was right to take tough choices to get the deficit under control. Labour opposed those tough choices - Ed Miliband said they would lead to a million more unemployed. They got it wrong when they were in government, borrowing too much money in the good times, and now we know they were wrong about how to clean up the mess too.