The UK economy continues to bump along at the bottom at the start of 2013, as economic headwinds lead to a 0.3% drop in activity being announced in the last few days.
Yet its labour market is still holding strong in the face of extreme adversity, outperforming the vast majority of its European competitors.
Indeed, the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed unemployment had dropped by 37,000 in the three months up to the end of November 2012.
This has come in spite of various major high street names, including HMV and Jessops, facing huge uncertainty about their futures.
Why are unemployment levels dropping?
Kevin Green, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) chief executive, has indicated that small businesses should be praised for their positive impact.
Mr Green said: “This is an outstanding performance by the UK jobs market. It would be easy to get distracted by recent headlines around the big high street names... but the fact remains that the UK jobs market is continuing to improve.”
“Recruiters are right there at the front line of the jobs market and the regular feedback they give us is that employers continue to hire. Small businesses don’t make national headlines but they are where the majority of job creation is going to come from”, he concluded.
Andy Johnson, Corporate Manager for SBF, added: "In our experience, many small businesses are continuing to innovate and expand right across the country, despite the uncertain economic conditions."