If everyone has a secure, well-paid job, it would transform our region. Parents will no longer have to raise their kids in poverty. Crime will fall. Health inequalities will close. And with more money in their pockets, we’ll enjoy a more vibrant cultural scene across our great region. Click on the bullet points above for more.
Full employment used to be a core policy of the Labour movement. There are currently 68,725 people unemployed in the North East, and many more economically inactive. And 25% of all those in employment are in insecure, zero-hours, or temporary work, including bogus self-employment.
Full employment means a secure, well-paid job for everyone who wants one. That means more job creation, more access to training for workers, and a better transport system so people can access the jobs wherever they live.
We must offer everyone the training and support to land these jobs and keep them, regardless of their needs or disadvantage. And these jobs must pay fair wages with trade union standard terms and conditions. Of course not everyone can work, and our benefits system also needs to stop people living in poverty. That needs change in central government.
There will inevitably be what economists call frictional unemployment – where people are between jobs for a month or two, or after leaving education. But we can eliminate mismatch unemployment – that’s where there are jobs available, but people’s skills or life circumstances don’t match what employers need. Better transport will help – I know of young people in Blyth who had to turn down jobs in Team Valley because public transport couldn’t get them there.
As North of Tyne Mayor I have one major target from Government: create 10,000 jobs over 30 years. So after four years as Mayor, I should have a jobs pipeline of 1,333. The actual number is 5,049 direct, full-time equivalent jobs. Plus another 3,277 safeguarded by careful support through the pandemic. That’s half the 30 year target in just 4 years. If that’s not economic competence, I don’t know what is.
Last year the North East was the number one region in the country for job creation from inward investment. We beat London and Manchester – but you won’t have heard that in the national press. I’m confident that I can deliver full employment. This is the only way we can eradicate long-term pockets of poverty and deprivation.