- The CBI commented on the latest labour market statistics for the three months to February, from the Office of National Statistics, which show that unemployment rose by 70,000 to 2.56 million, while employment edged down slightly, by 2000.

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment & Skills, said:

“The rise in unemployment is disappointing and reflects a lacklustre economy over recent months.

“However, the increase in the headline rate is due to more people looking for work, who weren’t previously doing so, rather than simple job losses. Numbers claiming unemployment benefits are still falling.

“The flat employment growth is down to a fall in part-time jobs. Full-time posts increased again this month, continuing the positive trend of recent months.â€

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