Mr Rowley asserts that more people were in work, by January 2022, than in March 2020. Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that, in the period from December 2019 to February 2020, there were around 33 million people in employment.
Looking at figures provided by the ONS, referring to the period January - March 2022, there were around 32.6 million people employed. This is a decrease.
The assertion that more people were in work is incorrect and misleading. There are fewer people in employment in the most recent ONS figures in comparison to the period leading up to the pandemic.
The boast that there are more people in work than before the pandemic is one made often by Government members. Downing Street has been told by the head of the UK Statistics Authority, Ed Humpherson, that ‘it is inaccurate to state that there are now more people in work than at the end of this period than the start'. Despite this, the claim has been repeated.
We approached Lee Rowley's office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response.