IS THE NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED LIKELY TO RISE OVER THE COURSE OF THIS YEAR?

PETER DIXON | COMMERZBANK
"Concerns of a slowdown in real activity growth are not without foundation. I suspect that we are near the trough of the unemployment cycle and look for a flat September reading. However, we may not see steep rises in unemployment until public sector job cuts begin to bite in 2011.”

MICHAEL SAUNDERS | CITIGROUP
"The claimant count has roughly stabilised in the last two months. Surveys suggest that firms’ hiring plans have improved markedly over the last year and hence we expect that the claimant count will be roughly stable in the next few months rather than show a renewed major uptrend."

VICKY REDWOOD | CAPITAL ECONOMICS
"Given that the public sector job cuts do not really start to bite until next year, the labour market could still hold up well over the next few months. However, surveys of private sector employment have deteriorated considerably recently, suggesting that hiring has ground to a halt."