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Jobless Count Rise Fails To Shake Nerves

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A further weakening of the labour market is not all bad news, said the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in reaction to official statistics.

According to the Office of National Statistics, unemployment rose by 108,000 between October and December 2005, pushing the total number of unemployed people to 1.54 million.

The claimant count, however has fallen by 2,000 over the month. While the number of job vacancies for the three months to January 2006 was 616,800. This was up 12,100 on the previous quarter but down 34,200 over the year.

Dr John Philpott, the CIPD’s chief economist said: "The disappointing employment and unemployment figures for the final quarter of last year are due in the main to a very poor October. Since then demand for labour seems to have stabilised, with the level of redundancies remaining subdued and vacancies and claimant unemployment showing signs of a modest improvement.

“The CIPD's latest survey of employers confirms this pattern. Although 2006 is likely to be a year of relatively slow growth in employment there is nothing to suggest any kind of jobs meltdown in the coming months."

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