I was delighted to see that unemployment has fallen again and dropped below 6% nationally for the first time in six years. In total, a record 30.8 million people are now in work, up by 1.75 million since the last election.
In Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush, unemployment has gone down 42% since 2010, with 1,548 fewer local people now out of work. I am confident that this trend will continue and the planned expansion of Westfield and the redevelopment of Old Oak, where the proposed Crossrail/HS2 interchange will be built, will bring thousands of new local job opportunities.
The new figures also show regular pay rising by 1.8 per cent on the year, and private sector pay up 2.2 per cent – well ahead of inflation.
It is particularly encouraging that youth unemployment is 175,000 lower than in 2010 and the number of young people claiming the main unemployment benefit is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Furthermore, long-term unemployment is down 130,000 since the election.
In May voters will face a clear choice: between the competence of sticking with the Conservatives’ plan which is delivering a brighter future for families - where more people have the security and peace of mind that comes with a regular pay packet - or putting that all at risk with the economic ineptitude that Ed Miliband would bring.