Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, Prof Len Shackleton, Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:
“Today’s employment figures again show a modest improvement in the labour market, with all the key indicators heading in the right direction. Unemployment on both the Labour Force Survey and Claimant Count figures is down, overall employment is up despite further cuts in the public sector, average hours worked are up and inactivity is down. There are concerns that youth unemployment has not fallen, and that the improvement in men’s position is greater than that for women. Regional disparities remain a big problem. Nevertheless, a positive picture, and one which suggests that the government is right not to listen to those who want it to reverse the policy of limited fiscal austerity. Instead it should press ahead with measures to deregulate the labour market and build on the trend shown in these figures.
"The continued resilience of the labour market contrasts with gloomy prognostications about output, and Friday's GDP data may raise further questions about the way in which output and employment measures are related."
Notes to editors: