Are 500,000 jobs arriving in Jobcentres every week? Lies, Damned Lies and Iain Duncan S- MYTH!

“Regardless of which metric the DWP are using to measure the Job Centre’s inflows, 10,000 jobs per working day (50,000 per week) is certainly not half a million per week…So the Work and Pensions Secretary has inadvertently added 450,000 new vacancies to the actual statistics. Given that he has already done this before, he would be even more advised not to do so again.” ~ FULL FACT

Full Fact, 14 June, 2012 – 18:13 — by Joseph O’Leary

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith claimed this morning that 500,000 new jobs are being added to Jobcentres every week – a claim he also made two years ago.
But is the Secretary making the same mistake twice?


“On average, every week there are about half a million new jobs coming through at the Jobcentre”

Iain Duncan Smith, LBC radio, 14 June 2012

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith did the rounds on this morning’s news shows explaining the Government’s plans to review the way in which child povery is measured in the UK.

Among his first stops on his studio tour was an appearance on LBC Radio, where Mr Duncan Smith claimed that half a million new jobs were being advertised in Jobcentres across the country every week (thanks to Full Fact readers and LBC listener @WoolfieSmith for the tip-off).

The claim actually closely echoes remarks he made on the BBC’s Newsnight programme two years ago:

“About now we have something like 450,000 – just short of half a million – jobs every week created within the Jobcentre.”

So where is the Secretary getting his figures from?

As Full Fact has explored before, job vacancies are measured in two ways: the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates the total number in the economy via their Labour Force Survey, and Jobcentre Plus measures vacancies processed by their own database, available via the ONS’ nomis website.

A quick look at the Labour Force Survey confirms that from January to March 2012 there were around 464,000 vacancies across the economy as a whole. However Mr Duncan-Smith refers to those dealt with by Jobcentres.

The Jobcentre figures provide monthly data – most recently for April 2012 – of several different vacancy measures:

1. Notified vacancies – These show the number of new jobs flowing into the Job Centre

2. Unfilled vacancies – A snapshot of the total number of unfilled vacancies sitting in Job Centres at the end of April, however not all of these are available for Jobseekers

3. Vacancy outflow – Vacancies that have been filled

In April 2012, 443,000 job vacancies entered Jobcentres across the country. However only 275,000 of these were standard full-time vacancies (‘standard’ means that self-employed vacancies are excluded).

Of course this is monthly data, while the Secretary of State’s claim concerns the number of vacancies coming in every week. 

However even on a monthly basis, the number of new jobs being advertised in Jobcentres falls short of the “half a million” mentioned by Mr Duncan Smith, so it is difficult to see how his claim that a similar number are being created week in, week out.

So what about the number of vacancies currently at Jobcentres, rather than new ones being freshly advertised? The data shows that 494,000 vacancies are currently ‘unfilled’, however job seekers can only apply for 306,000 of these (so called ‘live unfilled vacancies’).

Again, this is monthly data and provides no grounds whatsoever for claiming that this many vacancies are available each week.

After contacting the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), they could not verify what Mr Duncan-Smith may have said this morning. However, they did confirm:

“On average Jobcentre Plus continues to add 10,000 jobs to its books every working day.”

This would work out at approximately 200,000 per month, some way short of Mr Duncan Smith’s claim.

This figure is actually somewhat lower than the current number of inflows into Job Centres, although as we pointed out above, only considering standard full-time roles bings us closer to DWP’s estimate.


Regardless of which metric the DWP are using to measure the Job Centre’s inflows, 10,000 jobs per working day (50,000 per week) is certainly not half a million per week.

So the Work and Pensions Secretary has inadvertently added 450,000 new vacancies to the actual statistics. Given that he has already done this before, he would be even more advised not to do so again.

Full Fact

  • Andy Mayer June 14, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    What bothers me is that they keep lying to us, the Tory Mp Hunt lied under oath and Cameron and the Liberals let him off because they are liers and are in it for themselves and util we get them out they’ll keep lining their pockets.

    • sian healey June 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      of course they keep lying to us – THEY’RE POLITICIANS

  • Darren June 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Another clever little government sound-bite that is now lodged firmly in the minds of the daytime BBC-listening public.

    This media manipulation is one reason we are beginning to see attacks against the elderly and infirm. Little bits of misinformation like this convince the radio listener subliminally that those in receipt of certain benefits are the reason for the drain on the economy. Yet the subliminal presentatiom of information is illegal in the UK. Lawyers do it in court as well, asking questions that raise objections. The Judge might direct a jury to disregard but thye damage to the other side will have already been done as the jury will NOT forget what they just heard.

    Duncan-Smith does not hold the job he does because he is stupid, so the idea that he can make a “mistake” of this magnitude even once, never mind twice, is hard to credit. If he really IS that incompetent, he needs to be removed from senior office PDQ and any responsible Prime Minister, with the best interests of the nation at heart, would ensure that that happened.

    Interesting that the Nazis guided and moulded public attitudes by the use of misinformation as well, and Cameron is known to hold certain far-right-wing views, which make him, without any argument being possible, a Nazi in Tory clothing. More misinformation there, see? Were his constituents notified about his private far-right views prior to the General Election?

    • Andy Mayer June 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      BRAVO, i’m with you

    • Andy Mayer June 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      BRAVO, i’m with you well said

    • sian healey June 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      from my deviantart and live journal pages as well as facebook

      First They Came. by Pastor Martin Niemoller

      First they came for the Communists,
      And I did not speak out,
      Because I was not a Communist.
      Then they came for the Socialists,
      And I did not speak out,
      Because I was not a Socialist.
      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      And I did not speak out,
      Because I was not a trade unionist.
      Then they came for the Jews,
      And I did not speak out,
      Because I was not a Jew.
      Then they came for me,
      And there was no one left,
      To speak out for me…

      This is what is happening to the sick, disabled and elderly in the UK at this time (2012) remember it was once said by someone so much more intelligent than I:-

      The measure of a society’s worth and compassion is measured by how they treat their children, elderly, sick and disabled…

      If this is true (as I believe) then I think that makes the UK a sick, cold-hearted, self-centred, worthless sham as far as community and society go!!

      help those of us who are not just fighting for our rights, but for our lives at the same time…

      Our Gov. in the UK is turning into the NAZI party – and no I am really not joking or exaggerating – they are hounding the disabled to death, just so they can stay rich and kill off the ‘parasitic’ sick and disabled, who ‘they’ have to support (even though most of them avoid paying tax here so how are ‘they’ supporting us?)

      Just incase you do doubt me heres a link that will give you some small examples – and i do mean small…


      If you are on BT you will need to use a proxy server or go through black triangles facebook page to read it as BT have BLOCKED A CHARITY SUPPORT GROUP SITE – the don’t even block pedo-porn but they do block this… wonder why eh?

      Even if you’re not in the UK please read and share – you might be what changes the tide and saves lives…

  • DAVID A SHAW June 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    The fact that IDS has fresh air between his ears is probably the reason for this mistake, i think his brain is on display in the Tate modern, next to the unmade bed and the janitors broom.

  • TV Licence Free June 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    High time the propaganda machine that is the BBC was shut down. Goebbels has nothing on Auntie.

  • whatakesmesick June 15, 2012 at 4:17 am

    50,000, “just short” of half a million? Only in Astronomy, Cosmology, Geology and Paleontology, is a figure 50,000 ‘just short of anything! If we really do get 50,000 NEW jobs per week, then, thay’s better than some economies I can think of.

  • jeffrey davies June 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    yes they stopping ones benefit so if he says they got 50000 jobs you could say he,s chucked 45000 of benefits making it look like they gone into employment another trick jeff3

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