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UK unemployment hits 2.49m

16th December 2009

The number of unemployed people in the UK increased by 21,000 between August and October, according to government figures.

A new report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that UK unemployment has reached 2.49 million people, accounting for 7.9 per cent of the working-age population.

The number of people out of work for more than 12 months grew by 49,000 in the last quarter to hit 620,000 - its highest level for 12 years.

However, the organisation noted that the rise was the smallest increase in the jobless total since the spring of 2008, while the number of people on Jobseeker's Allowance surprisingly dropped to 1.63 million, a fall of 6,300.

The ONS figures also showed that the number of unemployed 18 to 24-year-olds increased by 26,000.

Commenting on the statistics, Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Today's figures show the economy is still on a knife edge.

'This shows how vital it is the government continues to dedicate significant resources to tackling joblessness.'

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