UK unemployment hits 2.47 million

The number of unemployed people in the UK has hit 2.47 million, an increase of 88,000 from the May to June 2009 period.

The overall number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – the main unemployment benefit – has risen by 20,800 and the jobless rate has climbed by 0.3% to 7.9%, according to new quarterly unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The figures also show that the number of 16- to 24-year-olds classed as ILO unemployed has increased by 19,000 to 945,000.

The stats also reported an average of 434,000 unfilled vacancies existed in the UK in the three months to September 2009, unchanged on the quarter but down 163,000 on the year.

There were 233,000 redundancies in June to August, down 68,000 on the previous quarter and up 85,000 on the previous year.

Yvette Cooper, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: “These figures show families across the country are still being affected by the global recession. Although unemployment isn’t as high today as many feared it would be at the time of the Budget, it remains a serious problem, which is why we must keep increasing support and advice to get people back into jobs.”

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