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Unemployment continues to rise

Unemployment in the UK has risen to 2.62 million, the highest total since 1994, according to official statistics.

There were 1.02 million unemployed 16-24 year olds between July and September – an unemployment rate for that age group of 21.0%, more than double the national rate of 8.3%.

Ian Brinkley, director of The Work Foundation, said: “These are dreadful figures. The overall fall in employment of nearly 200,000 in a single quarter takes us back to the worst days of the recession. Employee jobs have fallen by over 300,000, offset by a rise of around 100,000 in self-employment.

“With little prospect of a revival of economic growth in the face of contracting domestic demand and a Europe-wide economic slowdown, further job losses and even higher unemployment in 2012 are unavoidable.

“As ever, it is the young who are feeling the worst effects as firms stop hiring,” he said, as the under-25s account for more than half of the fall in employment.

Brinkley continued: “These figures will only improve when investors, businesses, and consumers feel confident that an economic recovery is on the way. The Autumn Statement due on November 29 must set out a credible plan for growth, not just public austerity, if confidence is going to be restored.”

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