Labour figures published today by the Office for National Statistics show that UK unemployment has increased. The biggest rise since 1991. David Kern, economic advisor to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

"The worse-than-expected labour market figures highlight the deepening recessionary pressures in the economy. Unemployment is rising, and employment is falling, at their fastest quarterly rates since the early 1990s. Unemployment will rise above the two million mark earlier than we expected. But average earnings growth is falling, confirming that inflationary pressures are easing.

"In view of the deteriorating situation, the MPC must now seriously consider a half per cent cut in interest rates at its November meeting. It is also critically important for the Government to announce cuts in business taxation."