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Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation comments on the figures:

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation comments on the figures:

"To see unemployment rise for the eighth month in a row is disappointing but not surprising as the first quarter of this year was always going to be difficult".

"However, we can look ahead with more optimism than in previous months. The feedback from recruitment professionals confirms that demand is increasing in some sectors.  At the same time, the latest REC/KPMG Report on Jobs showed some real glimmers of hope for the jobs market with an upturn in permanent placements for the first time in four months. This will hopefully be reflected in next month's employment figures.

"The fact that the number of job vacancies has risen to 476,000 confirms an urgent need to address the disconnect that currently exists between what employers are looking for and what jobseekers have to offer.”

On the part-time and flexible work issues, Kevin Green says:

“Increased flexibility in terms of working patterns is likely to be one of the lasting legacies of the economic downturn.

It’s important to make the distinction between under-employment and unemployment. Of course it is frustrating for people to be in part-time work if they are after a full-time role, but some work has to be better than no work. People in part-time work can avoid falling into the benefits trap by earning an income, keeping their skills fresh and making themselves more attractive to potential employers for when the right job comes along. People working flexibly is good news for them and the economy.

Alternatives, like the state training programmes suggested by the TUC to boost public sector employment, are not the solution for getting people into work and could result in higher rather than lower unemployment.

In contrast, flexible working is an immediate solution to unemployment and we encourage both jobseekers and employers to consider the potential of working this way – whether it’s through temporary, contract, freelance or part-time roles.”


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