Efforts needed to create jobs
· In the three months to June 2013, unemployment fell by 4,000, and employment rose by 69,000, compared with the previous quarter
· Long term unemployment is up, with further increases in the number of those unemployed for more than one year and two years
· Youth unemployment has risen by 15,000 in the three months to June, and now stands at 973,000
· In July 2013 the claimant count fell by 29,200, compared with June
Commenting on the labour market figures for August 2013, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:
“Despite some concerns, such as higher youth and long-term unemployment, the overall picture is one of a slowly improving labour market. Employment is up, unemployment is down, and there was a significant fall in the number of those claiming benefits. The unemployment rate of 7.8% is still a long way from the 7% figure at which the MPC may consider increasing interest rates. The level of inactivity has fallen and people are starting to return to the workforce. But firms are now under increased pressure to create jobs – otherwise those returning will find themselves unemployed.
“At a time when the government’s austerity plan remains in force and the public sector is shrinking, we are pleased to see the private sector is determined and able to create jobs. But it needs more support to sustain this, through increasing the flow of credit to viable businesses, a continued focus on keeping inflation low, and to reverse the large fall in investment in the UK that we have seen in recent years.”