EU Referendum

Reality Check: Would the single market for services create 800,000 jobs?

Alan Johnson saying: if we complete the single market in services… it will create something like 700 to 800,000 new jobs over the coming years

The claim: Completing the single market in services will create 700 to 800,000 new jobs over the coming years.

Reality Check verdict: This is an estimate of the impact of a whole range of extensions planned for the single market by 2030.

"Most analysis says if we complete the single market in services… it will create something like 700 to 800,000 new jobs over the coming years," Remain campaigner Alan Johnson said in last week's televised EU Referendum debate.

He is referring to this report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research, commissioned by Britain Stronger in Europe.

The report said that the boost to the economy could deliver 300,000 new jobs by 2020, rising to 790,000 by 2030.

It has taken a report from the European Parliament called The Cost of Non-Europe, and worked out how much of the pan-European benefits it identified from completing the single market could be allocated to the UK.

The report does not suggest that all the extra jobs would come from the single market in services - it includes areas such as further reform of energy markets and the introduction of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to increase trade with the USA.

Working out how many jobs would be created by economic benefits to the economy is not an easy thing to do and certainly not a precise science.

So, for example, one of the benefits cited was having cheaper mortgages as a result of increased competition in financial services, which the report decided would create a benefit of £4bn a year in 2020.

But would cheaper mortgages create any jobs? Not if the people who have cheaper mortgages decide to save that extra money. You have to assume that it means more mortgages are sold and that the money saved is spent elsewhere.


Read more: The facts behind claims in the EU debate


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