UK’s unemployment rate up to 13-year high of 7.9%

| December 16, 2009

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed that UK unemployment rose by 21,000 in the three months to October to 2.491 million, taking the unemployment rate to 7.9% - a 13-year high.

However, the increase was slower than expected and was the smallest quarterly rise since March-May 2008

Furthermore, the number of Britons claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) fell for the first time since February 2008.

According to the ONS, the total number of people claiming JSA unexpectedly fell by 6,300 to 1.6 million.

Today’s figures will be a welcome boost to the economy, which failed to emerge from recession in the third quarter.

The UK has been lagging behind other economies and is now the last major economy that is still in recession.

Furthermore, the figures will confound other reports which have warned that unemployment will hit the three million mark next year

However, the ONS also revealed that the number of young people out of work, aged between 16 and 24 years old, continued to rise.

Youth unemployment rose to 952,000 - a quarterly rise of 6,000 and the highest figure since records began in 1992.

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