Statements on the number of people in work
Thank you for your detailed letter of 21 January about statements on employment. It is disappointing to see incorrect claims about the number of people in work on repeated on multiple occasions.
As you have set out, the statements referred to the number of UK workers on employer payrolls. This does not represent all employed people, for example, it excludes most self-employed and those whose jobs are not part of company payroll. ONS data on the number of people in employment estimates that for January – March 2020 there were 33.0m people in employment compared with 32.5m people in employment for September – November 2021 (the latest available data at the time the Prime Minister’s statements were made).
I have written to the Director of Data Science at 10 Downing Street to reiterate the importance of unambiguous public statements on employment.
Director General for Regulation
Amended on 3 February to correct the reference to people in employment September-November 2021: from 32.4 million to 32.5 million according to statistics at time of original publication.