16/05/12

  • 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.”

Ends

For further information please contact the BCC press office on 020 7654 5813 / 5812 or 07825746812 / 07717682221.

Notes to editors:

ONS: http://onsbackup.org.uk/releases/labour-market-statistics-may-2012/

 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. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

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