The latest available figures show that the number of unemployed people in Britain has fallen once again. These figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that for the quarter ending in December unemployment stood at 2.46 million which was a decrease of 3,000 from the previous quarter. The rate of unemployment showed no change, staying at 7.8%. However, there was an increase in the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance which was up to 1.64 million – a rise of 23,500.
Chief economic adviser of thee Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Dr John Philpott said: “Today’s unemployment figures confirm that the UK jobs market is still in an extremely fragile state. New official estimates of ‘underemployment’ also show that the pain of the recession is much deeper than the headline numbers indicate. With a weak economic recovery set to result in further job losses in the coming months it is highly likely that the unemployment situation will get worse before it starts to get significantly better.”
Chief economist from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), David Kern, spoke to the Recruiter about these latest figures: “The economy is still very weak, and there is clearly no justification for an immediate tightening in monetary policy. The forthcoming Budget provides the Government with a perfect opportunity to introduce measures that will support businesses’ ability to increase employment – with particular emphasis on full-time jobs. It should start by scrapping the hike in employer National Insurance Contributions, planned for next year, and substitute it for a 1% rise in VAT.”