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Mixed employment figures raise pressure on Budget to bolster business confidence

Commenting on recent labour market statistics, Charles Levy, senior economist at The Work Foundation, said:“Today’s labour market statistics offer us further hope that the economy was stabilising at the end of 2011. Comparing the three months to December with the previous three months, employment increased by 60,000. This is in sharp contrast to the steep falls recorded in the autumn.

“However, the bad news is that the job market remains grim, with unemployment continuing to rise to record levels and a big shift towards part-time work. The number of full-time jobs actually fell by 10,000, and there are now 1.35 million part-time workers unable to find full-time work. It will take several months of sustained job creation before we can expect to see unemployment fall significantly.

“The Chancellor must use next month’s Budget to bolster business confidence and enable companies to begin hiring again. The deficit reduction strategy alone is not enough to achieve that, and it requires more than the piecemeal growth measures that have so far been put forward. The government urgently needs a coordinated plan for boosting investment, innovation and exports, and it must signal its intention to do this immediately.” 

Notes to editors 

  1. Andrew Sissons, Ian Brinkley and Charles Levy are available for interviews, briefings and written comment.
  2. The Work Foundation aims to be the leading independent, international authority on work and its future, influencing policy and practice for the benefit of society. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.

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