New year will be positive

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More strikes at set to hit Southern Rail services

Fresh strike action from Southern Railway staff

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FIRMS face a challenge to make sure economic growth this year improves workers’ pay after a ‘prolonged squeeze’.

John Cridland, director general of the CBI, said recovery is taking root and businesspeople have a ‘spring in their step’ compared with a year ago.

In his new year message, he said: ‘Businesses must support employees in every part of the country to move up the career ladder, while also giving a helping hand to young people taking their first tentative steps into the world of work.

‘As the financial situation of many firms begins to turn a corner, one of the biggest challenges facing businesses is to deliver growth that will mean better pay and more opportunities for all their employees after a prolonged squeeze.’

Mr Cridland said it was good news that jobs were being created, adding it was shaping up to be a full-time recovery with the majority of new jobs being permanent.’