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UK unemployment rises to 2.44 million

The number of unemployed people in the UK has risen to 2.44 million, the highest figure since 1995.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, the jobless rate rose to 7.8 per cent as 220,000 people lost their jobs in the three months to June.

The statistics show that 1.58 million people were claiming unemployment benefit in July, an increase of 24,900 in one month and up 709,000 over the year.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Steve Webb says: “The Government needs to look urgently at the gaps in the safety net to make sure that people who are out of work are getting the support that they need to see them through this difficult period.

“Unemployment assistance needs to be more personalised and JobCentre staff need to be given the resources necessary to help people get back on their feet quickly.

“Young people should be getting intensive support as soon as they sign on instead of having to wait a year for a guarantee of a job or training place. With vacancies at a record low, it is vital that we prevent today’s school and university leavers from becoming a lost generation of long-term unemployed.”

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