After a few months when it has increased slightly, unemployment in Croydon Central is now falling again.
1,589 of my constituents claimed Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in September. That's down 9 or 0.6 per cent in the last month and 152 or 8.7 per cent on a year ago.
The news regarding youth unemployment is even better. Of the 1,589 Croydon Central residents claiming JSA in September, 325 were between the ages of 18 and 24. That's down 10 or 3.0 per cent in the last month and 100 or 23.5 per cent in the last year.
Unemployment in Croydon Central is now 1,354 or 46.0 per cent lower than when Labour left office in 2010 and youth unemployment is 445 or 57.8 per cent lower. And it's not just that youth unemployment is falling - it is falling quicker in Croydon Central than in most parts of the country. When Labour left office, youth unemployment in Croydon Central was higher than the national average; today it is the same as the national average.
Nationally, a higher proportion of the working age population are in work than at any time in our history.
Each month when I tweet the latest good news on jobs, various Labour activists reply claiming that all these new jobs are part-time. It’s not true. Three quarters of the over 2 million extra jobs that the British economy has created since May 2010 are full time. Only 2.4 per cent of people in work are on zero-hours contracts.
There is absolutely no room for complacency. There are still far too many people out of work, in part time work when they would like a full time job or in a job that doesn't pay well enough for them to make ends meet. These figures show, however, that we are headed in the right direction. They also show that we are right to take tough choices to get the deficit under control. Labour continue to oppose those tough choices - tonight, they will vote against a proposal that the Government should normally run a surplus. They’re addicted to debt. They got it wrong when they were last in government, borrowing too much money in the good times, and they still haven’t learned the lesson.