Positive job figures will dampen fears of a new UK recession

23rd January 2013

In the three months to November 2012, unemployment fell by 37,000 compared with the previous three months, while employment increased by 90,000.

Youth unemployment rose by 1,000 in the three months to November, but remained below one million.  Commenting on the UK labour market statistics published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:    -Once again, unemployment is down, employment is up, and there is a modest decline in the number of economically inactive people.  The new figures reinforce favourable trends that have been apparent over the past year, and raise continued questions over the accuracy of the much more pessimistic GDP figures. -Some commentators expect the ONS to announce a negative growth figure for the fourth quarter this Friday. This will raise fears that the UK may be facing a new recession. Although it is clear that the economy has been stagnant for too long, talk of a -triple-dip recession is unnecessarily downbeat and damages business confidence across the nation.  The positive labour market figures provide a better reflection of the true state of the economy and are more consistent with the relatively robust level of business confidence shown by the BCC's Quarterly Economic Survey. -British businesses are able and willing to drive the recovery and create jobs at a time when the government's deficit reduction plan will inevitably cause the public sector to shrink.  We support deficit reduction, but a more effective growth strategy is needed to enable private business to create new jobs.  This requires further de-regulation, more forceful measures to support export and investment, and the creation of a business bank to improve access to finance for viable firms.

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