By Maximilian Clarke

Whilst UK unemployment crept still higher, the 0.1% increase reported in the office for National Statistics’ latest quarterly labour market survey confirms a marked slowdown in the rate of joblessness.

Coupled with BDO LLP’s survey which indicated an upswing in business confidence, the latest figures at long last offer some hope in the future of the UK economy.

Further, a reassuring net gain of 45,000 private sector jobs more than offset the latest tranche of public sector losses which hit 37,000 for the quarter.

“It is certainly an encouraging sign that the rate of unemployment is starting to slow,” says Carmen Watson, Managing Director of Pertemps Network Group.

“For the jobs market to fully turn a corner it doesn’t just need the participation of companies in government backed schemes, it also needs the confidence of employers from the various business sectors. We are frequently speaking to companies who are seeking to strengthen their workforce and increase productivity by taking on new staff on a temporary or permanent basis.

“This attitude has to reverberate throughout UK industry but it has to be based on confidence in future prospects. Recovery in the economy is within reach but its perceived proximity will be the deciding factor for many employers with regards to recruitment strategy.”

February also marked the 8th consecutive month that Jobseekers Allowance Claimants have declined, bringing the total reduction of claimants to more than 95,000 lower than mid-2011 when cuts were at their fastest pace.

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