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Unemployment rises to 2.38 million after record increase

The UK unemployment rate rose by a record 281,000 to reach 2.38m in the three months to May, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures show a 7.6 per cent increase in unemployment, the highest rate in more than 10 years.

The statistics show that 1.56m people were claiming unemployment benefit in June, an increase of 23,800 in one month. The number of young people claiming unemployment has also increased, reaching a 16-year high of 726,000 as firms look to reduce cost by cutting jobs.

In addition, those who have been out of work for longer than one year has risen from 46,000 to 528,000, an 11-year high.

British Chambers of Commerce chief economist David Kern says: “On the basis of these numbers, we reaffirm our forecast that unemployment will peak at around 3.2 million next year.”

Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Steve Webb says: “These figures are a stark reminder that any improvement in the economy could take years to affect people looking for work. The widening gap between the number of unemployed people and the number of people claiming benefits shows vulnerable people aren’t getting the help they need in hard times.

“The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for over a year is increasing each month. It is these people who will struggle to get a job when there are more available and could be left bearing the scars of the recession.”

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