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Unemployment reaches 2.47m

16th September 2009

The unemployment level reached a 14-year high of 2.47 million in the three months to July, according to official figures.

Some 743,000 people are now unemployed compared to the previous year, while the number out of work was 210,000 higher than in the previous three months, the Office of National Statistics data (ONS) shows.

Job vacancies also declined in the three months to August by 12,000, continuing the downward trend that has seen vacancies fall by 174,000 over the year.

On average, there were 1.7 vacancies per 100 employee jobs, down 0.7 over the year.

The data follows a new survey published earlier this month by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which indicated that the number of permanent and temporary staff appointments increased in August.

REC's poll additionally found that the decline in pay for both temporary and permanent positions also slowed.

However, KPMG partner and head of business services Bernard Brown warned that it is too early to speculate over whether these employment statistics signal the end of the recession.

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