Unemployment at seven-year high

Unemployment at seven-year high

UK unemployment total rises again

The number of people out of work in the UK rose by another 81,000 between May and July, to 1.72 million, according to government figures.

That took the official unemployment rate up from 5.3% to 5.5%.

The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance also rose, by 32,500 to 904,900 in August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

In a further sign of the economic slowdown, the number of people in work and the number of vacancies both fell.

“Today’s figures show that unemployment is starting to accelerate and it now looks very likely that total unemployment will reach two million during 2009,” said the TUC’s general secretary Brendan Barber.

“It is clear that deflation is a much more pressing threat than inflation, and interest rates should be cut,” he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the TUC warned that the number of people out of work for a year or more could almost double by the end of 2009.

Unemployment over past decade

The rise in the headline rate of unemployment to 5.5% took it to its highest level since early 1999. more

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