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1000 jobs created every single day?
Discerning fact from fiction is always important and especially so around an election when those bidding to take power are after your vote. I investigated a claim by the Conservative Party that “1000 jobs are being created every single day. 760,000 more businesses have started up”. I was directed to the Party Chairman Rt. Hon. Mr Grant Shapps MP where on behalf of him I was sent links to the relevant data sources.
The first was Statistical Bulletin: UK Labour Market, March 2015 by the Office for National Statistics which is an independent producer of official statistics. The premise that 1000 jobs are being created every day (since the election in 2010, as was stated explicitly in the email to me but not in the original claim) holds up after comparing employment levels between May 2010 and November 2014/January 2015.
The second was Business Population Estimates 2014 by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Again their claim adds up but they were only referring to private sector businesses, their ‘2014’ figure was rounded down, the ‘2010’ rounded up and wherever there were gaps or discontinuities, a modelling approach was conducted to estimate the business numbers.
My follow up question was just how many of these jobs were Zero Hours Contracts. From the ONS publication 697,000 people (2.3%) were employed on those contracts however this value is for the time period October- December 2014. To complement this, I was also told that ¾ of the rise of employment have been in full time jobs, which had risen by 1.42 million. But checking these figures in the Statistical Bulletin from ONS, only the first half of that sentence can be backed up: The number of people in full time employment has risen by 1.375 million instead since the 2010 election.
I was relatively satisfied with the evidence I was sent but the original claim did leave out a lot of the specifics.
This ask for evidence story was written by Dr Danae Dodge, a member of our Voice of Young Science Network.