Commenting on the labour market figures released today by the ONS, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 

Thanks to business, which has made Herculean efforts to keep and train their staff during the worst recession in decades, these unemployment figures are lower than expected. 

“It's now time for the public sector to step up by ensuring that its pay settlements reflect conditions in the real world. We cannot have a position where public sector pay increases are running at around double the rate of the wealth creating private sector. We should not forget that public sector employment has continued to increase throughout the recession. 

Only business has the capacity to drive our economy out of recession. The current over-reliance on public sector employment and the worrying gap in pay trends must end to provide the conditions for a sustainable recovery.”