Business News in Brief: 21/11/2010

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The Independent Online

Reed pleads for cash help for those seeking work

Reed in Partnership says that almost all long-term Job Seeker's Allowance claimants are too poor to return to work without help.

Of the 4,000 long-term job seekers Reed has helped into employment in the past year, 96 per cent needed money for travel, interview clothing, childcare and other expenses. Reed estimates that the average cost of finding a job is £146. It wants the Government to say what it is doing to help the long-term unemployed pay these costs.

Obama hopes for boost from economy

US president Barack Obama is expecting some much needed cheer on Tuesday when the country's latest DGP data is released. It is expected that the US will have grown 2.4 per cent in the last quarter, up from 2 per cent during the previous three months. The news will help the president's fightback after devastating mid-term elections, which saw the opposition Republican Party make massive gains due to widespread discontent over the economy.

Compass, the caterer, set to post £900m profit

Contract caterer Compass Group is expected to announce a full-year pre-tax profit of around £900m next week, as a swathe of companies announce final and interim results. Mitchells & Butlers, the Beefeater and Toby Carvery restaurant chain owner, is not expected to pay-out a dividend, despite raising hundreds of millions in a series of pub disposals this year. Engineering consultant Atkins, speciality chemicals group Johnson Matthey and utility Severn Trent also report.