UK unemployment up to 2.51 million

| September 14, 2011

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed UK unemployment rose sharply in the three months to July a�� the biggest rise in almost two years.

The ONS said unemployment rose by 80,000 in the three month period to 2.51 million a�� far higher than the 70,000 expected by economists.

The latest figures take the unemployment rate to 7.9% – however, this was in line with forecasts.

In comparison, unemployment in the US stands at 9.1%, Japana��s unemployment rate is 4.7%, while in the euro zone, it is 10%.

Youth unemployment also grew sharply, by 78,000 to 973,000.

Meanwhile, the number of Britons claiming jobseekera��s allowance (JSA) rose for the fourth consecutive month in August, by 20,300, to 1.58 million a�� however, this was slightly less than forecasts.

Average earnings, meanwhile, rose by 2.8% between May and July, up by 0.1% over the previous month, with weekly wages now averaging A?464.

The number of people in employment in the economy fell by 69,000 in the three month period to 29.17 million a�� the biggest drop since March 2010, according to the ONS.

Furthermore, the public sector workforce fell by 111,000 in the three months to June a�� the largest fall since records began.

However, an increase in private sector employment of 41,000 partially offset the drop.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling described them an a�?unwelcome set of figuresa�?.

The figures suggest the labour market is coming under immense pressure from public spending cuts.

The spending cuts have been described as the biggest for decades; however, Chancellor George Osborne has deemed them necessary in order to bring the budget deficit down.

Some experts have even suggested they could push the economy back into recession.

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