Unemployment on the rise

The employment market is still in dire straits, as the latest figures show that the number of jobless rose by 49,000 to 2.5million in the three months to the end of November.

The figures are worse among the young - one in five 16 to 24-year-olds are out of work - an increase of 32,000.

Taken as a whole, unemployment is at 7.9%, but it stands at over 20% for young people - the highest figure since records began in 1992.

But while jobless figures has risen, the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance has fallen by 4,100 to 1.46m.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: ‘These figures serve to underline the scale of the challenge we face.’

He added: ‘we are determined to bring down [the amount of people out of work] by rebalancing the economy and supporting private sector jobs growth.’

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘These figures are disappointing and once again slightly worse than expected.

‘Employment has declined for both full-time and part-time jobs and the number of people working part time because they could not find a full-time because they could not find a full-time job rose to its highest level since comparable records began in 1992.’

He added: "we reiterate our forecast that unemployment is likely to increase to 2.6million over the next year, with a net rise of around 100,000.’

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