“This government have presided over a jobs miracle, and it is remarkable to think that there are more people in work than before the pandemic, with a number of employees on payroll at a record high.”

Tory MP Scott Benton, House of Commons

March 15, 2022

Facts

Benton asserted that more people were in work, by January 2022, than prior to the Covid pandemic.

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.

Verdict

The assertion that more people were in work than before the pandemic is 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'. 

We approached Scott Benton's office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response.

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