Commenting on the labour market figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

  

"The outlook for unemployment is worsening and there is an urgent need for action. At this rate, unemployment looks set to reach 3.2 million in 2010.

 Even with some staff accepting pay freezes and working fewer hours, it is clear that employers are facing significant financial pressures. “There is a vital need for steps specifically aimed at preventing a damaging loss in our industrial skills base. Temporary measures such as wage subsidies need to be seriously considered.”