Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith has said that the recent employment figures are positive with unemployment figures dropping and those "never expected to work, sickness benefits, lone parents - they're now going back to work."
The Development Manager of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) for the Wessex area has responded to an overall drop in the unemployment rate. Neil Eames' patch covers Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. He called on the Government to do more to support small firms.
“_The fall in the unemployment rate again shows positive signs, especially as the number of people in full time work is up. The continued increase in self-employment, while partly a consequence of job losses elsewhere, highlights the remarkable resilience of the labour market at a time when the economy remains fragile. _
These people, with the right support, will be the job creators of the future. With only a month to go until the Budget, we need to see the Government take concrete steps to support enterprise and recognise the critical social and economic role played by small firms in the labour market.”_
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have produced a short Q&A video on today's Labour Market Statistics:
Youth unemployment up 11,000, while overall unemployment is down. Tough on the young.
Unemployment fell by 14,000 between October and December to 2.5 million, official figures showed today.
The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month fell by 12,500 to 1.54 million, said the Office for National Statistics.
Average earnings increased by 1.4% in the year to December, 0.1% down on the previous month.
A college in Kent has signed up to a new scheme to help people off get off benefits and back to work.
K college is targeting what some say could become the 'lost generation', as long term youth unemployment continues to rise.
The institution will offer courses to long-term unemployed young people, in association with the Royal British Legion which works with people who have been unable to find a job for more than a year. Sarah Saunders reports.
VIDEO: The latest figures reveal another reduction in the number of people looking for work. But for young people the news is not quite so good - with one in five still struggling to find jobs. Over the last 12 months Reshma Rumsey has been following a group of young jobseekers.
Unemployment is rising in the South East despite falling in the rest of the country.
Six thousand more people were out of work in the three months leading to September, than during the last quarter.
The Government says the road ahead will be hard but overall in the region figures for the young unemployed are improving, slowly but steadily.
Sarah Saunders went along to a new mechanics workshop in Paddock Wood staffed by apprentices to ask whether green shoots for the economy are starting with the young.
She spoke to apprentice George Burman, charity director Richard Mayhew and businesswoman Nikki King.
VIDEO: The Employment Minister, Mark Hoban MP, says there has been a slight fall in unemployment in the South East. Figures show the unemployment rate is now 6.3 per cent.