A spokesperson for the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has claimed he is concerned unemployment levels in the UK are quickly catching up with those around Europe.

To tackle this, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the state should introduce schemes such as short-term wage subsidies to prevent "unnecessary redundancies" and help businesses maintain skilled staff during the economic downturn.

His comments come after a recent report found one in four job losses made in Europe since January 1st have taken place in the UK.

The European restructuring monitor quarterly report, published by the European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions, found there were 89,625 announced job gains in the first three months of 2009.

It was revealed a significant proportion of the gains were achieved in bargain retailers and chain restaurants whose fortunes have taken an upturn during the recession.

The top five cases of announced job creation by region were: McDonald’s 12,000 (EU), Kentucky Fried Chicken 9,000 (UK), ASDA 7,000 (UK), Subway 7,000 (UK) and H&M 7,000 (World).