UK unemployment rate up to 6%

| December 17, 2008 | 0 Comments

Figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that in the three months to October, the number of people out of work in the UK rose by 137,000 to 1.86 million.

This represented the highest level in over a decade and takes the unemployment rate up from 5.8% to 6%.

Meanwhile, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance grew by 75,700 in November from the previous month to 1.07 million, which was much higher than anticipated.

However, the figures are not surprising considering the severity of job losses announced over the last few months amid the economic downturn.

John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said the figures are bleak.

Many reports have speculated that by Christmas, two million people will be out of work and the TUC is calling for Jobseeker’s Allowance to be raised to £75 a week, from the current level of £60.50.

Meanwhile, UBS is forecasting that 3 million will be out of work in 2010 and believes the UK is in for a period of ‘prolonged pain’.

The news brought more pain to the currency markets as the pound hit a fresh record low against the euro of €1.0985.

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