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Employment minister: 'We are not complacent'

We are seeing continuing falls in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance which is positive. Whilst there has been a disappointing increase in the headline rate of unemployment, we shouldn't forget the progress we are making.

We are not complacent. To win the global race we need to do all that we can to help people achieve their aspiration to look after themselves and their families.

– Minister for Employment Mark Hoban

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Coca Cola looking to 'minimise redundancies'

Coca Cola has released a statement following the announcement of 300 possible redundancies across the UK.

The drinks producer has a plant in Northampton.

Following a strategic review, we are proposing to end our direct delivery service in Great Britain. This service is primarily used by foodservice outlets and we have identified the need for a more efficient way of distributing our products to these customers.

We have now started a full consultation on these proposals with our employee representative bodies and the Unite trade union. If these changes were implemented they could result in the loss of approximately 288 roles from a total workforce in Great Britain of 4,400.

We do not make these proposals lightly and we will, of course, be looking to minimise redundancies as far as possible and will offer support to help colleagues through this process.

– Coca Cola spokesperson

Job cuts to be made by Coca Cola in Northampton

Coca Cola has today announced it will be axing almost 300 jobs across the UK, including staff at its Northampton plant on the Brackmills Industrial Estate.

Union Unite has described the decision as a 'devastating blow'.

Cola Coca Enterprises is a highly profitable and successful global company and we will be doing everything in our power to protect jobs.

– Jennie Formby, Unite national officer for food and drink

Unemployment figures released for Midlands, full report

New figures show the number of people unemployed in the West Midlands went up between October and December 2012.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says 238,000 people remain out of work in the region - three thousand more than between July and September last year.

Nationally, unemployment fell by 14,000 to 2.5 million.

The figures come as it emerged 1,700 people applied for 8 jobs at one coffee shop in the East Midlands, giving some indication about how tough the job market remains.

Charlotte Grant reports.

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