Trade unions have welcomed the fall in unemployment, but have called for a change in policy to ensure a futures that works. ONS figures released today show the number of people out of work fell by 50,000 to 2.53 million – a rate of 7.9% – in the three …

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Trade unions have welcomed the fall in unemployment, but have called for a change in policy to ensure a futures that works.

ONS figures released today show the number of people out of work fell by 50,000 to 2.53 million – a rate of 7.9% – in the three months to August, with the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance falling by 4,000 to 1.57 million in September.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “These may be the best figures for some time, but we still need to do much, much better.

“There are still hundreds of thousands of young people without work, over a million people working part-time who want full time-jobs and wages are still trailing below inflation.

“That is why we need a future that works, where we invest in good sustainable jobs with prospects and in tackling long-term unemployment and the living standards crisis.”

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: “That there is mass unemployment, in the sixth year of recession, shows that the Tories and Liberals are following the wrong economic policies.

“The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimated in 2011 that the impact of public spending cuts would deflate GDP by 2.7%. Last week the IMF said that this was an underestimate and called for policy to be eased. Nearly all economic forecasters made the same mistake which is why we have a double dip recession.

“In the light of the IMF intervention MPs on the Treasury Select Committee should  call the OBR to account and for them to revise their forecasts  to bolster support  for a change in policy. There will also be huge turnouts on Saturday at the mass demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Belfast for a future that works.”

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Hidden behind  the statistics is the stubborn underlying problem of the long-term unemployed, whether it is the 16-to-24 year olds or other groups seeking work. It is those areas that ministers need to concentrate on as a matter of urgency.

“The economy overall is flatlining, household incomes are being squeezed and demand has been sucked out of the economy.

“The UK is still in recession, so there is nothing for the government to crow about.

“The Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports that up to 66 people are chasing every retail job and last week when car giant, JLR offered 1,200 jobs, 20,000 people went for them – this means that there is hardly a jobs’ Eldorado out there.

“Significantly, 1.4 million people are in part-time jobs because they could not find full-time work, and this is close to a record high. People want to work more, but the jobs are not there.

“The government can’t expect London and the south east region to power house the economy and there needs to be a strategy to recalibrate away from the City and service industries.”


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