General secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Brendan Barber comments on today's news on unemployment reaching its highest in 17 years:
"The jobs news gets worse for young people. We cannot afford to see fresh records broken in youth joblessness with such depressing frequency.
"Over a quarter of a million public sector jobs were lost in the last year and the private sector recovery we were promised is not materialising.
"Tackling the jobs crisis should be at the centre of the Chancellor’s Budget next week. Bold new measures such as a youth jobs guarantee and tax breaks for investment are needed to get our economy growing again."