Responding to today’s publishing of UK and Scottish employment and growth statistics, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
"Today's statistics continue to illustrate that the economy is stumbling forward when, by now, there should really be a brisk pace towards recovery. To the extent that there is any recovery at all, it is excruciatingly slow and dependent on low paid and insecure employment with the number of full-time jobs in the UK still 100,000 below the pre-recession level. There is no progress at a UK level towards the Bank of England's 7.0% unemployment target and wages have risen by less than one percent over the past quarter despite an annual inflation rate of nearly 3 percent.
"Despite modest improvements on a couple of indicators, including youth unemployment, the picture in Scotland is essentially one of 12 month stagnation in the employment market and some worrying trends on women's unemployment. The improvement in long term unemployment trends is a slightly surprising but welcome trend which we hope will continue.
"To claim, as the Chancellor appears to do, that any recovery at all is the proof of good policy making, is nonsense. The truth is that George Osborne has continually been forced to revise down his predictions of economic recovery and that it is his policies which are putting a brake on meaningful recovery.”
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