Commenting on the unemployment figures for February 2012* published today by the ONS, George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have again seen significant rises in the number of claimants across both the city and county, taking the claimant count back to levels last seen in April 1989 in Derby; August 2009 in Derbyshire; April 1997 in Nottingham; and November 1989 in Nottinghamshire.
“However, it is important to stress that the remaining seasonal employment contracts came to an end in February and this was reflected in the figures, although it would appear to be more marked this year. Youth unemployment has also risen again and remains above the 1m figure across the UK.
“What the figures do show is that the Government still needs to do more to create the right environment for businesses to expand and create jobs.
“The Chancellor has the perfect platform at next week’s Budget to introduce measures that will allow businesses to employ more people. Incentives for businesses to hire young people should be scaled-up, whilst forthcoming tax rises – like April’s planned hike in Business Rates – should be scrapped.
“With job losses in the public sector likely to continue, the Government needs to put private-sector job creation at the top of its agenda and create the environment in which firms can thrive, create jobs and generate the wealth needed to pay for public services and infrastructure investments which support economic growth in the UK.”
* ONS – Labour Market Statistics, March 2012.
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