Minister hits back at damning jobs report by Sheffield council leader

Nick Clegg and Julie Dore outside the Sheffield Town Hall
Nick Clegg and Julie Dore outside the Sheffield Town Hall
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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has hit back at a report into the number of people employed in Sheffield.

Centre for Cities research showed the city was below the national average for employment, business start-ups, qualifications and earnings.

The report claimed 7,500 private sector jobs were lost in Sheffield during the Coalition Government’s first two years in power.

However, new figures this week show 16,300 jobless people have found work in Sheffield over the past four years.

The latest numbers from the Office of National Statistics show there are currently 269,400 people in employment in Sheffield, an increase of 16,300 since 2010.

And there are now 13,935 people currently claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Sheffield – 2,072 less than in May 2010.

Mr Clegg, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, used the data to hit back at the claim by Coun Julie Dore, Labour leader of Sheffield Council, that the Government’s economic mismanagement had stagnated growth in the city.

He said: “They have said this is disastrous news, but when you look at the figures a different picture emerges. I am the last person who would deny the Government has had to navigate a difficult time, but this report does not help build confidence in Sheffield and attract investment from outside.

“Cities like Sheffield can be key drivers of economic growth, putting us back on the road to recovery.

“Regardless of political allegiances, local politicians should be shouting Sheffield’s corner.

“I for one will be telling anyone who will listen what a great place Sheffield is to invest in.”