Economic slump pushes jobless figures up for first time in decade

Unemployment
in the UK has risen for the first time in almost 10 years as the economic
slowdown starts to hit home.

The
number of people out of work and claiming benefits now stands at 951,000, an
increase of 4,300. Apart from an isolated increase last October, it represents
the first rise in the unemployment statistics since 1992.

Separate
figures produced by the Office for National Statistics, which attempt to
include those not drawing benefits, showed a rise of 28,000 between July and
September to 1.51m.

Recent
months have seen a spate of high profile job cuts, especially in high-tech and
manufacturing sectors, while the events of 11 September have plunged aviation
and tourism into crisis.

In
addition to this, manufacturing output in the UK fell by the largest amount for
nearly a decade last month.

Figures
from the Office for National Statistics show that output reduced by 1.6 per
cent in September, the biggest monthly fall since May 1992 when a 1.7 per cent
slump was recorded.

In
separate news the Office for National Statistics revealed that UK retail sales
fell by 0.1 per cent in October but stated that the underlying growth rate
remains healthy.

www.statistics.gov.uk

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