§ Mr. Bellingham
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the number of jobs that have been lost to the British economy as a result of regulations on business introduced since May 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Ms Hewitt
Since 1997 over 1.5 million jobs have been created within the British economy and the number of people in employment is currently at 27.92 million, the highest since records began in 1984. The claimant count rate of unemployment benefits is the lowest for 27 years.
A Regulatory Impact Assessment is produced for all regulations that have a cost to or benefit for business as part of the policy development process. These are prepared in consultation with industry and the Small Business Service.