Putting the record straight on jobs figures

April 22, 2024

At the BBC hustings another candidate made some untrue claims about our job creation record. So let me set the record straight.

The North of Tyne devolution deal contains a target from central Government to create 10,000 jobs over 30 years. So by the end of my 5 year term I should have created 1,667 jobs.

How have we got on against that target of 1,667?

As of March 2024, our pipeline of brand new private sector jobs is 5,377. Only jobs held for over a year are counted.

Our programmes are safeguarding 3,277 at-risk private sector jobs, by helping companies quickly pivot to new ways of working, creating new revenue streams. Without our investment these firms would have laid workers off.

There are a further 2,533 construction jobs. Our strict criteria do not count construction jobs because they are funded differently.

In total, 5,073 of these jobs have been report as filled, including 766 construction jobs. The programmes report in arrears, so the data is always between 3 months and 1 year behind the actual number of jobs. Many is the time I’ve visited a factory and spoken to new employees, then back at the office discovered the people I’d just met weren’t showing on the figures yet.

If you add the 5,377 new direct jobs, the 3,277 jobs safeguarded, and the 2,533 construction jobs, that totals 11,187.

My target was 1,667. I’ve never used the 11,187 figure, just the 5,377 figure.

Even by that count, under my leadership the North of Tyne has achieved 323% of target.

When I took office in May 2019, we had created zero jobs. None. The claim the other candidate made that there were 1,000 jobs already is a complete fabrication, and sailing very close to breaking electoral law.

The criteria are very strict. To count in our report to Treasury, each job must be full time equivalent, and held by a real person for at least a year, and the direct result of our investment. We don’t include our staff, jobs created in the supply chain, or anything that is not a result of our direct financial investment.

I’m proud of our record of job creation. It’s a remarkable achievement in partnership with businesses large and small, and my team of hardworking staff at the Combined Authority. We’ve set up programmes supporting local firms. Attracting inward investment. Sector programmes to boost jobs in renewable energy, digital and creative sectors.

And I’ve charged £0 in council tax precept and incurred £0 debt.