STUC on labour market statistics

February 11th 2009

Commenting on today’s labour market statistics which show a rise in unemployment of 11,000 in the three months to December 2008, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:

“This is the fourth substantial monthly rise in a row and the STUC is anticipating a further deterioration in March as the official data begins to absorb job losses since the New Year.

“Government must now demonstrate the same resolve in fighting unemployment as it has shown in tackling the banking crisis, especially since analysis published today by the TUC confirms that amongst the EU15 unemployment is rising faster only in Spain and Ireland.

“Government in the UK and Scotland must now focus on three key priorities:

Getting sensible levels of credit flowing again to businesses and individuals; introducing new measures to boost skills training and help avoid redundancies happening in the first place such as short-time working subsidies; and, ensuring that workers hit hardest by the recession receive effective assistance to retrain, upskill or find alternative employment.

“Of course, it is also vital that the global dimension isn’t overlooked. The UK will host the G20 summit in April and the STUC expects nothing less than the agreement of strong action to boost global demand.”

ENDS For further information contact

Stephen Boyd Assistant Secretary STUC 0141 337 8100

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