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UK unemployment reaches 2.4m

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by Kay Mitchell

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today show that the number of unemployed in the UK has risen to its highest level since 1995.

Official figures show that unemployment increased by 220,000 to 2,435,000 in the three months to June, and takes the unemployment rate to 7.8%.

The figures equate to around 2,500 losing their jobs a day.

Meanwhile, the ONS said the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in July rose by almost 25,000 to 1.58 million – the worst level for over 12 years.

In addition, youth unemployment grew by 46,000 to 722,000, while the number of people out of work for more than a year was up by 36,000 to 543,000.

Leading business groups still believe that unemployment could exceed the three million mark and will continue to rise at a rapid pace.

However, an even more downbeat assessment comes from the Centre for Economics and Business Research, who predicts unemployment could reach 4 million – worse than the record high in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership.

The figures come as the Bank of England has released its latest quarterly inflation report, which warned that the UK recession is worse than expected but economic recovery prospects are improving.

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News posted: August 12, 2009

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