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Business groups react to new unemployment figures


After impressive unemployment statistics of 7.1% in the three months to November, the number of people in full or part-time work remains steady. New figures show the unemployment rate was 7.2% in the three months to December.


Latest estimates show that 193,000 more people were in work between October and December 2013.


Jame Sproule, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors (IOD), said: ‘As the Government undertakes very necessary restructuring of the welfare state, it is becoming ever more apparent that a vibrant private sector is the best guarantor of sustainable growth’.


Head of Group Economic Analysis at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Anna Leach, agreed: ‘It is particularly encouraging that more people are finding full-time work and that there are fewer people turning to part-time roles because they could not find full-time positions’.


Employment rates among women also improved, with 67.2% now in work – accounting for 46% of the UK workforce, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).


The ONS has warned that monthly figures are volatile and a three-month average is a more representative indicator.