Chancellor says “there are no unemployed”

Philip Hammond has claimed “there are no unemployed people” in the UK in a major slip-up as the chancellor prepares to fight for his political life in this week’s budget.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Hammond made the gaffe as he argued there had been no need to worry about jobs disappearing due to technological advances such as computers in the past.

Downplaying worries about automation technologies including driverless cars, he said: “It’s a simple choice: either we embrace change or we try to hide from change and we allow ourselves to slip behind … I remember 20 years ago we were worried about what would happen to a million shorthand typists in Britain as the personal computer took over. Nobody has a shorthand typist these days. Where are all these unemployed people? There are no unemployed people. We have created 3.5m jobs since 2010. This economy has become a jobs factory.”

In fact, there are about 1.42 million unemployed people in the UK and many more who are underemployed and would like more hours. .. “