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Labour market "delicately poised" says BRC

Published: 18 November 2010
Recent unemployment figures from the Office of National Statistics show the labour market is "delicately poised", according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Labour market 'delicately poised' says BRC
The unemployment rate for the three months to September fell by 0.1% to 7.7%, compared with the three months to August. Deeper analysis showed that the number of private sector jobs increased by 308,000 between March and June 2010, while public sector jobs fell by 22,000 in the same period.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "These figures provide few pointers as to the strength and speed of the economic recovery. With this modest movement unlikely to have much effect on consumer demand or confidence, there's no immediate cause for worry.

"Most interesting is the relatively modest fall in the number of public sector jobs. So far public sector job losses are few enough to be more than compensated for by private sector growth. But that balance will change as the impact of public spending cuts works through to the jobs market. Future unemployment levels depend on the extent to which the, currently encouraging, rate of private sector growth continues to off-set the half a million pubic jobs due to be lost over the next four years."

The figures also demonstrate the fundamental role retail has to play in maintaining and creating vital new jobs, said the BRC. The organisation's Retail Employment Monitor showed retailers created the equivalent of en extra 12,750 full-time jobs in the last year - a 2.1% increase. "That process deserves ongoing recognition and support," said Mr Robertson.

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