UK: Union body believes unemployment figures unrepresentative

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The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said that the unemployed total in the UK is ‘deceptively good’ because people are increasingly having to accept part-time or temporary work in the absence of full-time opportunities. The Office for National Statistics reported that the number of underemployed rose to 2.8 million in the period from July to September 2009, compared to a figure of 2.1 million two years previously. Total unemployment in the three months to Novermber 2009 fell by 7000 to 2.46 million, the first fall in 18 months, and a similar small fall is expected when official figures are released today for the three-month period to December 2009.
At the same time, the Federation of Small businesses has called on the Government to reduce National Insurance contributions, saying that 60% of small firms cannot take on more staff due to their tax burden.

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