Liam Byrne MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, commenting on today's unemployment figures, said:
"The bad news on unemployment today is fresh evidence that we need a plan B for the economy.
"The Tory-led Government has put the recovery in the slow lane and now, after more than a year since we came out of recession, unemployment is still going up.
"It looks especially serious news for young people. Youth unemployment is up again and heading towards the million mark. Many of our young people now face a summer of anxiety. If they don’t get the grades to go to college they face a jobs market that is tougher than ever.
"Worse, private sector employment is dead flat. Public sector job cuts are mounting. Now five people are chasing every single job and in 100 constituencies it’s ten people chasing every vacancy.
"So it simply beggars belief that the Tory-led Government is cutting a quarter of a million places from its work programme next year. We were promised the biggest boldest work programme in our country’s history, I’m afraid this morning that looks like another broken promise just at the time when more urgent action is needed."