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BCC: increasing inactivity in jobs market a worrying sign

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the unemployment rate was 4.2% between June and August, up from 4% in the March-to-May quarter, but unchanged from September.

Businesses appear to be hiring less as the impact of rising prices and higher interest rates starts to bite.

Jane Gratton, Deputy Director Public Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “It’s disappointing to see the number of economically inactive again ticking up, reversing recent trends. Employers need substantial flows of people back into job seeking and employment.

“The ONS data also shows vacancies remain well above pre-pandemic levels and wages outpacing inflation.

“Underneath these headline figures the skills crisis continues and the overall picture remains challenging. The Chancellor should introduce tax breaks in the Autumn Statement to help firms invest more in training and occupational health benefits.

“We need to tackle skills shortages, keep people in work and help those who want to work back into employment.”

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