BCC: Rise in employment is encouraging, but challenges remain
17 May 2012
In the three months to March 2012, unemployment fell by 45,000 while employment rose by 105,000
- The number of unemployed people aged 16-24 fell but remains above 1m
- The number of people working part time because they couldn't find a full time job rose to a new high
Commenting on the labour market figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
"With the eurozone crisis worsening and economic pressures facing the UK, these figures are encouraging. Unemployment has fallen and employment has increased. But there are still some worrying features. Youth unemployment, though down, remains above one million which is a jobless rate for young people of more than 20 percent. The number of people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job has risen further to a new record high. And although any rise in employment is positive, the bulk of this increase was made up of part-time jobs and self-employment.
"We should be encouraged by these figures as they show the private sector is able to drive recovery while the public sector continues to shrink. But future challenges cannot be overlooked. The combined effect of the situation in the eurozone and the government's austerity measures will likely cause future job losses over the next year. Businesses are working hard to expand and grow, but the government needs to do more to help them create jobs. Measures like real de-regulation, and the creation of a business bank to help improve access to finance, will boost confidence and encourage firms to invest and create jobs and growth."
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