Britain’s record breaking jobs market will be put into jeopardy if Tory rebels vote down May’s Brexit deal, minister warns
- Employment Minister Alok Sharma said a no deal Brexit will imperil the economy
- Theresa May is braced for a humiliating defeat on her deal in the Commons
- She might delay the crucial vote and go back to Brussels for more
Employment minister Alok Sharma (pictured) said ‘our jobs boost could become a jobs bust’ with firms cutting investment and laying off workers if Parliament fails to back the Withdrawal Agreement
Britain’s record breaking jobs market will be put into jeopardy if MPs vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the employment minister warns today.
New figures show the country has smashed 18 employment records this year – with more people in work than ever before.
But Alok Sharma said ‘our jobs boost could become a jobs bust’ with firms cutting investment and laying off workers if Parliament fails to back the Withdrawal Agreement.
In an article for MailOnline, the minister warned rebel Tory MPs: ‘Create uncertainty, push back Brexit, seek to harden it or stop it all together and you risk the stable economy that has delivered so many employment records.’
He added: ‘Any employer knows that creating a new full-time role is a big investment. If, as a result of the Brexit vote in Parliament next week, MPs create uncertainty about our country’s future direction, suddenly those investments will be harder to make.
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‘Or worse, businesses may look to cut back on spending and make redundancies. We may have broken 18 employment records in 2018, but our jobs boost could become a jobs bust.’
Tory Government has broken 15 employment records since gaining power
Here are 15 employment records broken in 2018
1. A record high number of people (32.4 million) people are in work – and:
2. the employment rate reached a record high (75.7%) in March-May 2018
3. The female employment rate reached a record high of 71.2%, with over 15.2 million women in work.
4. Female unemployment is currently at a joint record low of 4.0%
5. The economic inactivity rate fell to a record low (21.0%) in January-March 2018.
6. Youth unemployment fell to a record low in August, and remains down by almost half since 2010 in August.
7. The youth unemployment rate also reached a record low this year (June-August 2018).
8. The number of workers over 50 in the workforce reached a record high of over 10.2 million
9. The number of children living in a household with no working adults has fallen by 33% in the UK since 2010, reaching a record low.
10. The ethnic minority employment rate is also at a record high 65.8%.
11. The ethnic minority employment gap is also at a record low, this record has been broken three times this year
12. In October the full-time gender pay gap fell to a new record low of 8.6 per cent
13. Full-time employment is at a record high 23.9 million.
14. The number of permanent employees reached a record high of 25.99 million.
15. Demand for workers is strong – with a record 845,000 vacancies at any one time.
Mr Sharma called on his colleagues to get behind Mrs May’s Brexit deal, which he praised as a ‘compromise that works’.
He urged them not to forget the work the party had done together to turn around Britain’s jobs market since coming to power eight years ago.
‘Back in 2010 one of those biggest challenges was unemployment. With 2.5million people without a job, and more redundancies on the way as the financial crisis continued to bite,’ he said.
‘Since then, jobs growth has been the biggest success story of the UK economy – creating 3.3 million new jobs as many EU countries struggled with spiralling unemployment with millions of young people being shut out of a job all together.
‘2018 has been the best year ever for the UK jobs market.’
The UK economy has broken at least 18 employment records so far this year, according to official figures.
The employment rate reached a record high of 75.7 per cent earlier this year, with 32.4million people now in work for the first time ever.
The female employment rate also saw a record high of 71.2 per cent, with more than 15.2million women in work.
Records were also broken in employment for ethnic minorities and older workers. The number of children in workless households reached an all-time low this year
Mr Sharma said: ‘There are more people in work than ever before and our record breaking jobs market is delivering for people across the UK – regardless of background, age or gender.
‘Our welfare reforms are supporting people to move into employment faster and stay in it longer, and with a Brexit deal that’s backed by businesses and employers there’s no reason for this trend to stop.
‘By helping people break the cycle of worklessness, and backing businesses to create the good jobs people want, we will continue to support families across the UK to build a better future.’
Writing exclusively for the MailOnline, Employment Minister Alok Sharma urges MPs to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal at this ‘critical juncture’
At this critical juncture in our country’s history Brexit dominates, especially in Parliament and the media.
So it is easy to forget the other challenges facing the UK, challenges which have just as big an impact on people’s lives and which will continue long after we have left the EU.
Back in 2010 one of those biggest challenges was unemployment. With 2.5 million people without a job, and more redundancies on the way as the financial crisis continued to bite.
Since then, jobs growth has been the biggest success story of the UK economy – creating 3.3 million new jobs as many EU countries struggled with spiralling unemployment with millions of young people being shut out of a job all together.
And today we can say that 2018 has been the best year ever for the UK jobs market. In 2018 we have broken 18 employment records.
From our highest ever employment rate and more people in work than ever before, to record low redundancies and youth unemployment. From record numbers of women, older workers and those from ethnic minority backgrounds in work, to record low gender and ethnic minority pay gaps.
There are fewer households where no-one works than ever before, and fewer children growing up in a workless home. Two years on from the Brexit referendum, the UK jobs market is smashing expectations.
This progress actually matters to people. The prospects of a better future that comes with having a job, knowing that your job is secure, and seeing your wages rise above inflation – as they have in the UK this year.
One of the 18 records we hit this year was having more people than ever before in full-time work, 23.9 million of them, with almost 2.6 million more than in 2010.
Any employer knows that creating a new full-time role is a big investment. But with a Conservative Government that is firmly behind business, unlike the anti-business and anti-jobs agenda of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, employers have the confidence to make those investments in jobs – over 400,000 in the last year alone.
If, as a result of the Brexit vote in Parliament next week, MPs create uncertainty about our country’s future direction, suddenly those investments will be harder to make. Or worse, businesses may look to cut back on spending and make redundancies. We may have broken 18 employment records in 2018, but our jobs boost could become a jobs bust.
The Prime Minister (pictured visiting a church in Maidenhead today) mounted a last-ditch bid to win over her mutinous backbenchers after over 100 Tory MPs threatened to rebel in the crunch vote on her deal
No surprise then that employers, large and small, and groups representing business like the Federation of Small Businesses and the Confederation of British Industry, have warned against a no-deal Brexit and backed the Government’s Brexit deal.
I also back the deal. That is because I, like them, see a compromise that works. Not a no-deal that cuts some of our most important trade links, or a second referendum that would open our divisions even further.
There are those, including in Parliament, who dismiss the views of business. That is a mistake. Look at another of our 18 records – Private Sector employment at an all-time high of over 27 million, with over 380,000 more jobs in the last year alone.
More people in the UK work in the private sector than ever before. Those companies support the government’s deal because they know it protects their business, without blocking the possible benefits of Brexit like new trade links.
Some may see opportunity in chaos, but employers do not. Create uncertainty, push back Brexit, seek to harden it or stop it all together and you risk the stable economy that has delivered so many employment records. A strong economy which Conservatives in government have worked together so hard to deliver.
It is right that MPs debate Brexit ahead of the big vote and everyone gets a chance to have their say. But on Tuesday, when MPs decide whether to back the deal or not, I hope my colleagues on all sides will listen to the employers of this country and deliver the only deal which gives them the certainty they need to make 2019 another record-breaker. And that is the Government’s Brexit deal.
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