Employment minister hails job statsEmployment minister Chris Grayling has welcomed new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), claiming they suggest a private sector-led jobs recovery is underway.

The ONS data revealed that 70.8 per cent of individuals aged between 16 and 64 were in work during the third quarter of the year – up by 0.8 per cent on the previous three months – although this remains 210,000 down on the same period in 2008.

Mr Grayling said: "The private sector is leading the way and creating jobs and opportunities for people across the country. Nonetheless, we have more to do to help those on benefits continue to move into work as well."

However, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber pointed out that unemployment among women hit a 22-year high this autumn and is likely to rise further as public sector job cuts take effect.

Yesterday (November 17th 2010), Scottish finance secretary John Swinney announced that public sector workers earning above £21,000 per annum would have their salaries frozen for at least one year.

Posted by Hayley Edwards