“400,000 more jobs than pre-covid ”

Suella Braverman, Attorney General, Twitter

January 11, 2022

Facts

While there are more payrolled employees than before the pandemic, the total number of people in paid work - including the self-employed - is below the levels seen just prior to the pandemic. This figure has fallen from  5 million just before the pandemic to 4.3 million as of the third quarter of 2021.

Data from the Office for National Statistics, which includes all people in paid work in the UK, shows that this number is still about half a million below the level just prior to the pandemic. It has gone from about 33 million between December 2019 and February 2020 to 32.5 million in the latest figures from July to September 2021. The proportion of working-age people in employment is also lower than it was in early 2020, falling from 76.6% to 75.4% in this period. 

For an excellent analysis, see FullFact. 

We approached Suella Braverman’s parliamentary office and the Attorney General's Office to give her a chance to comment, but received no response.

Verdict

Suella Braverman was misleading her Twitter Followers. There are not 400,000 jobs more than before Covid. There are approximately 500,000 less. The Attorney General is one of a number of ministers who insouciantly issuing false information about employment figures in reckless disregard of the facts. It is striking that the wording of her tweet was identical to that of Leader of the Commons Mark Spencer the same day.

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