Government hoping for boost with new unemployment figures

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The Government is hoping for some pre-Christmas cheer on the jobs front when new unemployment figures are published.

The Office for National Statistics will reveal if the recent trend of rising employment and fewer numbers out of work has continued in the run-up to Christmas.

Unemployment fell in the quarter to September to 1.6 million, while the claimant count was down by almost 10,000 in October to just over 800,000.

A new report found that the value of the recruitment industry to the UK economy is £35 billion a year.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation said there were almost 10,000 recruitment agencies with an annual turnover of £250,000 operating in the UK.

Chief executive Kevin Green said: "The recruitment industry is bigger than ever before and contributes more to the UK economy than advertising, arts and recreation, and the food and beverage industry.

"Our industry is the engine that drives the UK jobs market, enabling people to find the right job and businesses to find the talent they need to succeed.

"With near-full employment in the UK and candidate availability tightening, recruiters will play an even more important role in 2017."

Separate research by employment firm Adecco Retail showed that the UK's temporary workforce remains a "largely untapped" resource for many employers, as worker enthusiasm for the role is undermined by poor employment practices.