Reaction: Positive job figures are encouraging
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...the trend in employment is reversed, the government should not hesitate to reduce employer National Insurance contributions to improve businesses’ ability to take on staff.”
Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said that it is a positive sign to see unemployment down overall. Although he did remind us that youth unemployment still remains a problem.
"It's good news that unemployment is down overall, but the question remains about what will happen to the younger generation," he said.
"Right now the economic situation makes it easy to argue that organisations need experience to pull them through, but this is a short-sighted view. Even with the figures showing that the number of unemployed 16-24 year olds has fallen by 62,000, there are still too many young unemployed people, with plenty to offer employers.
"Today's workforce will not be around forever and unless businesses across the country put plans and people in place to share expertise and experience, they will find themselves bereft of the skills which can make them competitive. It's well known that organisations benefit from a blend of youth and experience. Employers will do well to remember this or risk an uncertain future for individuals and organisations, alike."
However, Gerwyn Davies, Labour Market Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said that the figures should be viewed with a little more caution.
Davies says that much of the increase in employment numbers is down to temporary appointments, and warns that the number of long-term unemployed is the biggest problem facing the government.
“A quarterly rise of more than 150,000 employees offers the strongest evidence for some time that the jobs market might be gathering genuine momentum, with growth now being driven by firms rather than the self-employed," Davies said.
"Almost every economic indicator is tentatively improving; with... continued on page three >