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Minister on guard as unemployment rises

The Treasury Minister says there is "no room for complacency" as unemployment figures on the Island show an upward trend.

Last month there was an increase of 156 in the total registered unemployed, reflecting local economic pressures as well as seasonal factors.

By the end of the month unemployment had risen to 1176, representing an unemployment rate of 2.6%.

Eddie Teare says a significant increase in unemployment is not unusual in January, with a post-Christmas downturn in retailing and hospitality adding to the winter reduction in construction activity. But the underlying trend is towards rising unemployment.

Mr Teare goes on to say "in the run-up to the forthcoming Budget I have consulted widely with the business community and these figures are consistent with the pressures being faced by those sectors which depend on the Island’s domestic economy rather than international markets."

Mr Teare adds that while our unemployment rate still compares favourably with other places, supporting job opportunities remains a top priority for this Government.

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