Unemployment has risen to 2.5m according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics. This equates to an unemployment rate of 8%, which is the highest unemployment rate in the past fourteen years. However, by contrast there has been a reduction of 32,900 in the number of people claiming unemployment benefit which fell to 1.54m in March.

Speaking to The Recruiter, Melanie Whitehall of Matchstick Recruitment warned that Britain is “not out of the woods yet”.

She continued: “As the latest unemployment figures make clear, we are not out of the woods yet and a big question mark continues to hover over the economy. From a recruitment perspective, large and small companies alike remain unsure about what the future holds and this is reflected in the volatile nature of the jobs market at present. The big decisions are being put on hold.”

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s chief executive, Kevin Green also commented on the latest figures, saying: “Despite positive figures in the last three months, it is clear that the jobs market is fragile. However, it is important to note that these figures are a lagging indicator of our dynamic labour market.

He concluded: “Based on the data available, we predict that unemployment has peaked and that we will see a small reduction in the number of unemployed over the next quarter. The outlook for jobs market will then become dependent on how the incoming government implements public sector constraints. We are stressing that whoever wins the election needs to focus on reform of public services rather than on simply slashing jobs.”

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