Liberal Democrats have helped create a million jobs – and now want a million more

Most people would put jobs high on their list of priorities at the moment. Even if they are retired themselves, they will have family or friends who may be at risk of redundancy or who are unemployed at the moment.  This weekend sees the launch of a major new Liberal Democrat campaign, A million jobs for a stronger economy. Its twin aims are to highlight the fact that with the Liberal Democrats in Government a million jobs have been created and to campaign for a million more.

This is an ambitious campaign that’s going to last for a year. The initial focus will be on apprenticeships, trying to double the 100,000 companies who currently offer them. MPs and other senior party figures will be spending time shadowing apprentices and seeking to create 100 new apprenticeships in their constituencies.

In fact, if anyone wants to offer any member of the Lib Dem Voice team  a chance to spend a day working as an apprentice, let us know.

Campaigners across the country will be holding a National Day of Action for Jobs tomorrow. We at the Voice want your stories, pictures and comments to share with our readers, so send them to us at [email protected] We’ll publish the best over the next few days.

It’s just possible that this infographic will be popping up all over the place, too. It’s crying out to be shared on sight.

A million jobs

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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21 Comments

  • That seems a rather dishonest chart, frankly. It ignores what happened to jobs in the years to 2008 and, probably more importantly, by comparing raw numbers instead of more meaningful %age employment rate figures it disguises the fact that the employment rate is still 1.5 %age points below the level pre-recession. This smaller change in employment rate is probably one of the reasons that unemployment has remained largely steady around the 8% mark since 2009.

    Finally, I’d note that the claim of a million new private sector jobs relies on the reclassification of a large number of jobs from the public sector to the private sector rather than any actual job creation and so is rather misleading in and of itself.

    Even allowing for these flaws, the relative strength of employment through the downturn has been in marked contrast to previous recession but it is also marked by a significant fall in wages and productivity and I don’t believe it’s entirely clear that this has been an overall positive in economic terms. What credit the Lib Dems can legitimately claim for this is surely another question: what distinctively Liberal Democrat policies can this strength of employment been credited to?

  • Peter Bancroft 14th Jun '13 - 4:54pm

    It’s a great campaign and the campaign’s slogan is well thought out.

    I’d be careful on the LDV header as clearly the Lib Dems would never claim to have *actually* created over a million jobs….

  • Liberal Neil 14th Jun '13 - 5:46pm

    Being selective with data isn’t the same as being dishonest, Jack.

    The point is to challenge the myth that the poor state of the economy has been caused by the coalition head on, and, further, to show that even though the economy is far from buoyant, at least some good progress is being made.

    And by showing that jobs were being shed by the thousand under Labour, and that the situation has been turned round, the chart does both of those things very effectively.

    Lib Dems round the country now need to get behind this campaign, and in particular we need to work with local employers to encourage them to provide more apprenticeships.

  • @Jack
    “That seems a rather dishonest chart, frankly”

    No worse than Labour supporters who go on about how they brought down debt to record low levels in 2007, ignoring the fact that they were in government till 2010. Or those who say the meltdown in the public finances was nothing to do with Labour, it just “happened to them” while they were in power

    The fact is that the Liberal Democrats have been hammered by Labour in many ways, and now they deserve to get some of their own medicine back.

  • Eddie Sammon 14th Jun '13 - 6:54pm

    Great campaign and we should all get behind it. However I also want to give a word of warning to party HQ about the need to be super honest throughout.

  • Stuart Mitchell 14th Jun '13 - 7:51pm

    Though the graphic is poorly done and seems to be drawn from more than one set of ONS figures, it does look suspiciously like whoever prepared it has very naughtily included the 200,000 Further Education workers in the Lib Dem half of the chart, but not the Labour half. (The official designation of colleges changed from public sector to private in April 2012.) ALso, it’s not clear whether an adjustment has been made for the banking sector workers who transferred the other way in December 2008, or whether this has been allowed to amplify the reduction in jobs under Labour.

    In other words, it looks well dodgy.

    Looking through the amillionjobs website, and marvelling at the terrible grammar therein, I also noticed that the author is using a very loose definition of “young people”. Actually, around 44% of apprentices are aged 25 and over. In the education sector a young person is normally classified as someone up to the age of 19, or 24 if they have learning difficulties.

    Apprenticeships are not jobs.

  • Stuart the ONS figures are: (all 000s) of “Private sector including English Further Education Corporations and Sixth Form College Corporations”

    Mar 2010: 22,722
    June 2010: 23,016
    …..
    Mar 2013: 24,059

    You can see in the figures when these figures stop and start correlating with the general public/private figures.

  • Matthew Huntbach 14th Jun '13 - 9:39pm

    When Nick Clegg writes ” since the Liberal Democrats came into Government in 2010, we’ve helped British businesses create more than a million jobs. Now we want to help them create a million more”, how can he claim the Liberal Democrats in particular are responsible for this? Or does the “we” mean the government i.e. us and the Conservatives?
    In which case, we already have what someone just a few threads before was saying we would not – campaigning based on the Coalition v. Labour. If we put this as something “we” have done, well all the right-wing Tory things this government has done can similarly be labelled as what “we” have done, this in effect signs us up as Tories. I did not join the Liberals to be a cheerleader for the Tories, I joined them to be a more effective opposition to the Tories than Labour.

    As others have pointed out, the “million jobs” figure is based on a lot of dubious assumptions and twists. This is another example of absurdly optimistic “it’s all wonderful” propaganda, that doesn’t work because people can SEE things are not all wonderful now. People are losing their jobs, people are finding it impossible to get jobs – when they read this they won’tr think “really, that’s good, well done LibDems”, they’ll think “rotten lying LibDems, what a load of rubbish they are putting out here”.

  • RC – Bearing in mind what we have claimed for ourselves over the years – that “we will be different from the two old parties”, Clegg’s claim in 2010 that we “represented the new politics” etc, the idea you express of giving Labour “some of their own medicine back” seems to let the cat out of the bag. I am sure that that has motivated some of our leading politicians, and has led us into a trap, where we have accepted a completely flawed economic policy, and therefore strategy to get into Government. Tragically for the country, and for wider acceptance of austerity economics, it will be hitting us for years to come. There is probably no painless way to bring the “neoliberal” era to a close, but buying into a more extreme version of it with out-of-control Tories will merely prolong the agony.

  • “Being selective with data isn’t the same as being dishonest, Jack.”

    Yes, it is. And we should be FAR less tolerating of it. Why is it that politicians can lose their jobs for lying but misrepresenting data – which is entirely equivalent – gets waved by as if nothing happened? It’s a crazy double standard that powerfully damages political discourse in this country. The phrase “you are entitled to your own opinion, you’re not entitled to your own facts” rings true.

    And, yes, it’s certainly not the case that dishonest representation of data isn’t widely practiced by Labour, UKIP and the Tories but that’s a reason to attack dishonest data representation by the other parties not a reason for the Liberal Democrats to joyfully join in.

  • Stuart Mitchell 15th Jun '13 - 10:07am

    Note also that the Lib Dems are claiming the Q2 2010 figures as entirely their own. These figures cover the period May-July 2010, and account for nearly a third of the total increase seen since Q1 2010, i.e. 294,000 jobs.

    Quite apart from the fact that Labour were actually still in power for the first ten days of that period, I’d like to know exactly what kind of fairy dust the coalition was sprinkling to create so many private sector jobs within days of coming to power – and why they haven’t been able to rediscover the magic formula since.

    Also, anyone looking at this graphic and seeing the caption “Labour in Government: 1 Million Jobs Lost” might take this to mean that, er, a million jobs were lost while Labour were in power. The reality is that from 1999 onwards (which is as far back as the ONS table goes), Labour created 1.8 million jobs, split pretty evenly between public and private, and that’s despite the crash at the end.

    As for the fact that 423,000 public sector jobs have been lost so far under the coalition, with many more set to come – best just gloss over that.

  • Liberal Neil 15th Jun '13 - 10:12am

    @stuart mitchell – the fact that 400K public sector jobs have gone over the same period makes the overall employment figures even more impressive, not less.

  • Neil – no, it doesn’t. What it means, among other things, is that less activity is under any kind of democratic scrutiny. For a party which is avowedly democratic, that is hardly an outcome we should be looking for.

  • Matthew:
    “As others have pointed out, the “million jobs” figure is based on a lot of dubious assumptions and twists.”

    They are wrong. Look at the ONS figures quoted above.

    Jack:
    “Why is it that politicians can lose their jobs for lying but misrepresenting data – which is entirely equivalent – gets waved by as if nothing happened? ”

    The data isn’t being misrepresented

    Stuart:
    “Note also that the Lib Dems are claiming the Q2 2010 figures as entirely their own. These figures cover the period May-July 2010, and account for nearly a third of the total increase seen since Q1 2010, i.e. 294,000 jobs.”

    Even if you run the figures from Q3 (The June 2010 figures) then the substantive figure stacks up.

  • Actually, this campaign isn’t wholly dishonest. However, the way it is being presented will convince the voters that it is.

    Slanting statistics annoys everybody. Boasting about private sector jobs, while cutting public sector jobs and/or just moving jobs from public to private, is just going to alienate more voters.

    Say things that are honest. Talk about how Vince has worked hard to help businesses create jobs. Talk about things like the Green Investment Bank which were genuinely Lib Dem initiatives. Talk about pressing the Tories to expand apprenticeship schemes. Don’t use any figures, as nobody believes figures anyway. The commentators wouldn’t be overwhelmed by it all, but they would admit that we did have a point. That would be a small step back towards credibility. Which is what we desperately need.

  • Peter Watson 16th Jun '13 - 11:38am

    @David Allen “Talk about things like the Green Investment Bank which were genuinely Lib Dem initiatives.”
    Sadly, as far as I recall, a Green Investment Bank was in the tory manifesto, the Labour manifesto, but not the Lib Dem manifesto (though I know the party regularly takes credit for it), so we need to point to examples of other Lib Dem initiatives.

  • Dave Eastham 16th Jun '13 - 2:16pm

    @ Stuart Mitchell 14th Jun ’13 – 7:51pm
    “Actually, around 44% of apprentices are aged 25 and over”.

    Stuart, presumably, this figure is derived from the apprentice stats series from the Skills Funding Agency?.
    (http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/Statistics/fe_data_library/Apprenticeships/). It is worth noting that apprenticeships of the age of 25 plus, are not as such illegitimate but are covered by the regulations under the various Acts of Parliament. Specifically covered under point three of the Statement on Apprenticeship Quality (http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Partners/Policy/Apprenticeship-Delivery-Models.aspx). “3 The focus of an Apprenticeship is on equipping individuals with the new skills and learning they need for their job roles and future employment and progression. It is appropriate for those moving into a new job or for individuals in an existing job where significant new knowledge and skills will be acquired through the Apprenticeship. Providers must work closely with the employer to ensure that the Apprenticeship will meet this requirement. ” which allows for over 24 year olds . (See also http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Be-An-Apprentice/Other-Questions/FAQDetails9.aspx)

    The number of apprenticeships has been generally rising (although slightly falling back in some years) since the figures reported by the SFA begin in 2005/06. In 2011/12 there were over half a million. As the Lib Dems did promise to increase apprenticeship numbers, I wonder what your problem is with this.?

    Dave Eastham

  • Matthew Huntbach 16th Jun '13 - 8:32pm

    Hywel

    Matthew:
    “As others have pointed out, the “million jobs” figure is based on a lot of dubious assumptions and twists.”

    They are wrong. Look at the ONS figures quoted above

    Yes, and then what? It’s not these figures that are the problem, it’s the dubious assumptions and twists leading from them that have led to the headline words used here.

  • Matthew Huntbach 16th Jun '13 - 8:35pm

    David Allen

    Slanting statistics annoys everybody. Boasting about private sector jobs, while cutting public sector jobs and/or just moving jobs from public to private, is just going to alienate more voters

    Indeed, that’s my point. This sort of over-optimistic boasting just isn’t working, the more over-the-top it goes, the more people just see it as out-of-touch politicians telling porkies, even if an elaborate argument can be put forward to justify it.

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