Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North

Everyone's talents should be included in growing our economy - and everyone deserves the chance to grow

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 15 March 2023 08:58

Office of National Statistics data released yesterday indicates good news for the UK and Norwich.


The latest figures show that the number of payroll employees rose by 98,000 in February 2023 to 30 million. The number of employees on payroll now stands at 1,040,000 above pre-pandemic levels – with the employment rate increasing between November and January 2023. 


Locally, in Norwich North, figures published today show a decline in the number of individuals claiming unemployment benefits, down 425 claimants on the past year. The Norwich North unemployment claimant rate of 3.2% is now below the claimant rate for the UK at 3.7% 


But, the labour market figures still show an urgent need to address economic inactivity because firms are still seeking over a million workers. As MP for Norwich North, one of my priorities has always been helping people in Norwich to go into the local jobs they need.


Embracing inclusion and helping economically inactive people into modern jobs is good for health and wellbeing and good for a successful British economy.


As part of the Spring Budget 2023, the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt is expected to publish a white paper reforming health and disability benefits.  During my tenure as Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work and as a former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, I was proud to drive the vision that Government's job is to support people to find work and to support them into work.


I also anticipate welcome progress on the Government's manifesto pledge to reduce the volume of assessments in the welfare system, and support those with the most severe disabilities, while increasing transparency in the system. 


Government and business must work together.  The Chancellor is right to take action on employment and welfare in the forthcoming budget.  Everyone's talents must be included in growing our economy - and everyone should have the chance to contribute, grow and thrive through employment opportunities.


As the local MP for Norwich North, ensuring that we have more good jobs in the city has always been one of my priorities. To find out what I am doing to ensure this, please visit:


If I can help any Norwich North constituent with a concern, please do contact me on or tel: 01603 414756


To view the ONS labour market statistics for March 2023 please go to: 

For assistance with finding the right job for you, please go to: