UK unemployment at highest level since 1994

The number of unemployed people in the UK has reached its highest point since September 1994, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Figures published by the ONS show there were 2.64m unemployed people in the three months to October 31. This is an increase from the 2.62m people without work by the end of the three months to September 30.

The ONS also says the UK unemployment rate remains at 8.3%, staying at a level not seen since January 1996. The youth unemployment rate increased to 22%, with 1.03m 16 to 24-year-olds being without a job during the three months.

Macroeconomic forecasting consultancy IHS Global Insight says the ONS’s data is not as bad as feared, but claims it offers “limited comfort” as the jobs markets is expected to remain troubled in the months ahead.

“Faltering economic activity, lower business confidence fuelled by an increasingly worrying outlook and mounting public sector job cuts look set to take a serious toll on jobs through to mid 2012 at least.”

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