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Mixed response to jobless fall

Thursday August 15th 2013

The coalition Government has hailed latest unemployment figures which show the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance at its lowest for over four years.

Employment minister Mark Hoban said data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which also showed employment at a record high, paints a "positive picture".

Yet doubts remain about the UK's economic recovery after long-term and youth unemployment increased.

The claimant count fell by 29,200 in July to 1.4 million, the lowest since February 2009, but unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds increased by 15,000 to reach 973,000.

Stephen Gifford of the Confederation of British Industry said youth unemployment "remains stubbornly high".

And Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison trade union, warned that a "toxic combination of part-time, minimum wage, zero-hours working" is spreading across the country.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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