Boris Johnson has once again falsely claimed there are more people in work now than before the pandemic began.\n\nThat's the SEVENTH time he's got that wrong in Parliament. @StatsRegulation have *told him* this is wrong.\n\nHe must stop saying this and correct the record.
Johnson today made the claim during PMQs after he was pressed on the cost of living crisis by Labour MP Kerry McCarthy. He said:
"We are tackling the cost of living crisis, which is caused by a global inflation spike, with everything that we can.
"The single best thing that we have done on the cost of living is making sure that we have millions more people into work. There are 430,000 more in employment now than there were before the pandemic began. That is how we are tackling the cost of living, and we will get on with it."
He has also made the claim in a January interview with Sky News, and on two occasions in January PMQs sessions. He also made the claim in November 2021 during PMQs and Full Fact say it has also been repeated by other senior Conservatives including Nadine Dorries and Mark Spencer.
Full Fact say the figure is incorrect as the cited figures do not include people who are self-employed. While there are more pay-rolled employees, the total number of employees including the self-employed has decreased, they say.
In a letter sent earlier this month, the Office for Statistics Regulation said:
"The number of people on employer payrolls does not include everyone in work. Specifically, most of the self-employed and those whose jobs are not part of company payroll are excluded.
"ONS publishes data on the number of people in employment. The data for January – March 2020 estimate that 33.0m people were in employment compared with 32.5m people in employment for September – November 2021. It is therefore incorrect to state that there were more people in work at the end of this period than the start.
"The most recent references have been clearer that they refer only to payroll employment. In this case, it was disappointing that some earlier statements continued to refer to payroll employment as if describing total employment, despite contact from our office and from others."
When asked to comment on this story, Downing Street directed indy100 to a statement the PM made to parliament in January, evidencing his claims.
"Looking at the payroll employment measure of people in work, the most recent statistical release shows there were 29.4 million people in work in November 2021 – 424,000 more than in February 2020 and a new record high, compared with the previous high of 29.175 million in October 2021."
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