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Monday 08th of June 2009
January 21, 2009

UK unemployment nears 2 million mark


by Kay Murchie
”UK

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today show that unemployment in the UK reached 1.92 million in the three months to November - the highest level since September 1997 and takes the unemployment rate to 6.1%.

However and worryingly, the figures do not include the redundancies announced at the end of last year such as the 27,000 job losses at Woolworths.

Earlier this week, the Ernst & Young Item Club said unemployment in the UK is to rise to 3.4 million in 2011.

Meanwhile, the ONS said the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance increased to 1.157 million in December - the eleventh month in a row that the claimant count has increased.

Brendan Barber TUC General Secretary said there is no disguising how bad the employment figures are.

Further jobs have been announced this week from Burberry who said it was to shut a sewing plant in Rotherham, South Yorkshire with the loss of 290 jobs. Also yesterday, Dutch-owned food group Vion, said it is to axe more than 800 jobs.

Today, Hammonds Support Systems, the conveyancing firm based in Bradford, said it had experienced a sharp drop in business and is going into administration with the loss of 200 jobs.

Furthermore, wireless equipment maker Ericsson is shedding 5,000 jobs while supermarket giant, J Sainsbury, is to axe 200 at its London head office. However, it is unknown how many UK jobs are affected at Ericsson.

Electronic components firm TT Electronics is to cut 700 jobs this year, with 100 workers affected in the UK.

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