Local MP Jesse Norman took the opportunity to praise local jobseekers and employers at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.
Jesse highlighted figures from the Office for National Statistics which show that the number of people Hereford and South Herefordshire who are in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance fell 31% in the last year, whilst the number of people aged 18-24 receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 40%.
In reply, the Prime Minister described the figures as "very encouraging", while emphasising that overall employment has risen by 60,000 in the West Midlands since 2010.
Speaking afterwards Jesse, who held a highly successful Jobs Fair in Hereford last year, said: “It is great news that unemployment is falling, particularly amongst young people. With luck the Old Market development will bring a welcome jobs boost for the city and the county too.
"But much more needs to be done. The gap between Herefordshire’s earnings and those of the West Midlands and England as a whole is wide, and getting wider. We need to do more to attract high skill employers to Herefordshire--that is why the Enterprise Zone is so important, and longer-term plans for a new university.”
The full text of Jesse’s question is below:
Jesse Norman (Hereford and South Herefordshire) (Con):
The number of people in Hereford and South Herefordshire in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance fell by 31% between November 2012 and November 2013. Youth unemployment fell by an even more impressive 40%. Does the Prime Minister share my view that the Government’s long-term plan is already giving employers the confidence to get hiring again?
The Prime Minister:
I am grateful for what my hon. Friend says, because an absolutely key part of our long-term economic plan is to see a growing number of people in work in our country. We see 1.2 million more people in work. In the west midlands, employment has risen by 60,000 since the election. Private sector employment is up 64,000. There is still further to go, particularly in the west midlands, where we need to get young people in particular back to work, but the figures in his constituency are very encouraging.