Dear Steve

Thank you for responding to my query regarding an article published in the Daily Telegraph on the 21st April 2019, in which the Minister of State for Employment, Alok Sharma MP, was discussing UK employment.

The original article made several statements, such as that “Britons have filled nearly all of the new jobs created in the UK since the 2016 referendum” and that “UK workers have accounted for around nine in ten of new people in work since 2016, compared to half of the people entering work in the two years before”.

You recognised that these statements are not consistent with the relevant official statistics. You explained that the Department for Work and Pension’s internal analytical briefing discourages the use of language which confuses changes in employment with the different and vaguer concept of “new jobs”, in particularly avoiding:

  • The use of the word “job(s)” when referring to headline Office for National Statistics measures of the number of people in employment.
  • The use of the phrase ‘job creation’ where it is claimed or implied that the Government is responsible for directly creating or is the main reason for the creation of “new jobs”.
  • The mixing of statistics on jobs and employment to avoid public confusion.
  • Anything that may confuse net changes in employment with total flows into employment.

This briefing is important and helpful. On this basis, I am reassured that this is an isolated case in which the Department’s analytical advice has not been followed in full. I am also pleased to note that the Telegraph article has been amended and all references to “job creation” and “new people in work” have been removed.

Yours sincerely

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation

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