Screen shot 2015-05-04 at 07.52.22

A million jobs would go, warned Ed Miliband. The growth in private sector ones wouldn’t make up for the loss of public sector ones, said Ed Balls.  No, up to five million jobs could go, cried David Blanchflower.

Now look what happened next.

  • 1000 new jobs each day – more than the rest of the European Union combined.
  • The number of 16-18 years olds not in jobs, education or training at a historic low.

George Osborne’s corporation tax and NI cuts; his extension of small business rates relief and the Red Tape Challenge.  Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms.  John Hayes and Matthew Hancock’s work on apprenticeships…

All these have helped to deliver an astonishing turnaround from the days of the 1980s, when the Conservatives were lampooned as the party of unemployment.  The British jobs miracle, as Fraser Nelson has called it, is the jewel in the crown of this Government’s five year term.

There’s more to do (there always is). Productivity is low – although, as Peter Franklin points out, one of the main reasons is that it was never sustainably high under Labour.  Exports are too dependent on EU markets.  We invest less than most other comparable countries. And the deficit is still too high.

But who’s better positioned to safeguard jobs – and go on to deliver full employment, “the highest employment rate of any major economy”, as the Conservative Manifesto puts it?  The team under which the economy is motoring, or the team which crashed the car?