UK unemployment at its highest level for six years

Unemployment has grown to its highest level for six years after a big increase in the number of people without work, official figures showed.

There were 1.65 million people classed as unemployed in the three months to May, an increase of 90,000 over the quarter.

The figure was the worst since the spring of 2000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance increased by 5,900 last month to 956,600.

The so-called claimant count has now risen for 15 out of the last 16 months and is 93,000 higher than a year ago.

Average earnings, including bonuses, rose by 4.1% in the year to May, down by 0.3% from the previous month. Excluding bonuses, wages grew by 3.8%, a rise of 0.1%.

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