Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG Management Consulting, comments on the news that unemployment has fallen by 7,000 to 2.59 million in the three months to July.

”Another month of relatively good news for job-hunters is welcome amidst ongoing predictions of tougher economic times. With little change to this outlook expected over the next few months, employers could be forgiven for delaying recruitment decisions, but the signs are there to suggest that they are gradually regaining confidence and recruiting for long-term growth. The simple fact is that if they weren’t, we would be looking at figures highlighting increased levels of unemployment.

“However, the good news appears to be geographically biased, with firms in the Midlands far more likely to recruit than in the Capital. Employment may be moving in the right direction, but it remains to be seen whether the trends being set in one part of the country are being matched elsewhere.

“The Government’s plans to boost lending to firms could help drive the economy forward, but that is only one part of the equation. As we move towards the end of the year questions remain about whether businesses can forge a link between finding the funds to hire talent and using the skills they recruit to drive performance, increase productivity and generate growth.”