Stephen Timms, the MP for East Ham and newly appointed Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform, has welcomed Government figures which indicate that the UK continues to have one of the highest employment rates in the world. According to the statistics, from the Treasury, the number of people in work is now at the record level of 29.36 million.
Compared to 1997, employment is now up in every region and country of the UK, by over 2.9 million people overall. There are one million fewer people on benefits. The claimant unemployed rate now stands at 2.5% - the lowest it has been since 1975.
In East Ham, the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits has fallen dramatically – from 5,207 in April 1997 to 2,788 in December 2007.
Speaking about these findings, Mr Timms said: "The best way of helping people out of poverty is to help them into work. These figures demonstrate the real impact of Labour policies, such as the New Deal. However, we need to do more. In Newham, we have very good reasons to be optimistic. The prospect of the Olympic Games coming to East London is already attracting new companies and jobs to our area."