There is still strong demand across many sectors for jobs despite gloomy headlines of record unemployment, particularly amongst the UK’s 16-24 year olds, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has reported. Figures released by the ONS (Office of National Statistics) today showed a rise in unemployment of 129,000 in the UK, taking the total to 2.62 million out of work. There are now a record 1 million 16 to 24-year-olds out of work, with more people claiming benefits. However, REC’s Chief Executive Kevin Green was adamant that all is not lost, “It is important we do not constantly talk our jobs market down... our longer term outlook remains more upbeat and we have seen a small increase in the number of employers planning to recruit over the coming 12 months”. He also felt that it was vital that action is taken quickly to get small businesses to give the young a chance, with schemes such as national insurance holidays for small businesses now crucial to reinvigorating the jobs market. All eyes will now be on the Chancellor’s Autumn statement at the end of November, which is likely to focus on employment and the steps the government will take in getting more people into work.