REC response to latest unemployment figures
Unemployment figures published today by the Office for National Statistics have shown a rise of 27,000 to 2.53 million in the number of people out of work in the three months up until January.
Commenting on the latest statistics Kevin Green, the REC’s Chief Executive, said:
“There have been positive signs of improving employer confidence and increased hiring activity in many sectors. However, today’s figures confirm that the private sector is some way off being able to absorb public sector job cuts.
“The continuing rise in the number of people seeking work is what we predicted and we expect this trend to continue over the spring, summer and autumn before starting a slow decline at the end of this year and into 2012.
“The onus is now on the Chancellor to announce measures in the Budget next Wednesday which will stimulate the economy and generate job creation. Today’s figures highlight the urgent need for the Chancellor to deliver a meaningful Budget for jobs.
“The real scandal still remains the number of young people not in work or education. The REC’s own Youth Employment Taskforce is reconvening again tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss what can be done to encourage the Government to make this a top priority and to better harness the contribution of employers through apprenticeships, internships and other initiatives.”
Today, the REC is also meeting Shadow Employment Minister, Stephen Timms MP, to discuss the findings of the Youth Employment Taskforce report.