There have been claim and counterclaim about whether the number of people in employment in the UK has risen or fallen since the General Election in May 2010.  The debate is usually in terms of number of jobs, but any comparisons are made difficult by some people working full-time, others part-time and by some people having more than one job.  A more revealing approach is to look at actual hours worked.  Here the news is less good for the prime minister.

Total weekly hours worked in May-July 2010 (which cover the election) were 921.3m, and in Sept-Nov 2011 (the most recent figure) were slightly lower at 916.3m, a fall of 0.5 per cent.  So whilst the numbers do go up and down over time, the labour market appears to be more or less where it was when Cameron came to power.  Not quite what was promised!

The ONS data going back to the beginning of the recession are graphed in this spreadsheet:  Hours worked chart jan 2012.xls

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