14/09/11

  • In the three months to July 2011, unemployment increased by 80,000 and employment fell by 69,000

Commenting on the labour market figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“These figures were disappointing, but not surprising in the face of the worsening global economic situation, and the government’s tough austerity plan. In the second quarter of this year the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 111,000, the largest fall since records began. The number of people employed in the private sector rose by 41,000, showing that businesses are willing and able to create jobs.

“We expect a net increase in the jobless total, with unemployment peaking at 2.62 million, or 8.2% of the workforce in the fourth quarter of 2012. These statistics also show a worrying increase in youth unemployment, with the quarterly rise occurring mainly in those between the ages of 18-24.

“These figures reinforce the need for the government to help the private sector to create more jobs, and those lost in the public sector. Reducing red tape, and creating a skills system that provides the right candidates for firms, will aid businesses in increasing their workforce. However it is crucial that the government perseveres with the deficit-cutting plan, and ensure the UK does not lose its AAA rating. However, there may be a need to make changes within the overall plan to give businesses a greater chance to create jobs and drive recovery.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people.

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk