Commenting on the unemployment figures for January 2012 published today by the Office for National Statistics, George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “In the short term, these figures do remain a concern, taking the claimant count back to levels last seen during the recession, which is not really surprising given the ongoing challenges in the national – and global – economy.
“It is important to remember, however, that we usually see a spike in claimants at the turn of the year as many seasonal employment contracts come to an end, although it would appear to be more marked this year.
“Looking over the long term, we have had a number of positive announcements relating to future jobs in Derby recently, which will go some way to offsetting the economic shocks suffered by the city last year.
“And in Nottinghamshire, getting the Enterprise Zone to market, expediting the start of works to widen the A453 and bringing about a swift resolution to the redevelopment of Nottingham’s two major shopping centres should be addressed with priority, as all of these will drive future employment growth and inward investment.
“However, Government must also play its part in ensuring that all unnecessary barriers to employment are removed and that our young people are leaving schools and colleges with the right skills, qualifications and – crucially – attitudes to work that local businesses need.”
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