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Unemployment Figures Hit 17-Year High With 2.64 Million Out Of Work (Video)

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Unemployment figures show a 17-year high
Unemployment figures show a 17-year high

Unemployment is up to 2.64 million in the UK, a 17-year high and an increase of 128,000 in the last three months.

The grim figures, published by The Office for National Statistics, put youth unemployment (16 to 24-year-olds) at more than one million, the highest since records began, while the number of claimants of jobseeker's allowance increased to 1.6 million, a rise of 300,000 since November.

The number of women out of work increased by 45,000 to 1.1 million, the highest level since 1988, while the number of vacancies fell by 8,000 to 455,000.

In the last three months, 161,000 people were made redundant.

Public sector employment in the last three months fell by 67,000, and private sector employment only increased by 5,000 to 21.3 million.

According to Andrew Sissons, researcher at The Work Foundation, the figures show the labour market is in a "dangerous trajectory".

"Today’s numbers confirm that our private sector recovery has stalled," he said. "Between June and September private businesses struggled to create just 5,000 new jobs while the public sector shed 67,000 workers over the same period. The economy shed 252,000 employee jobs in three months, leaving unemployment higher now than at any point during the recession.

"Unemployment will only stop rising when businesses regain their confidence. That will either require a rapid resolution to the Eurozone crisis, or a decisive signal from government that it is committed to boosting growth in the long-term."

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