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UK unemployment rises to 7.9%

Figures just unveiled show UK unemployment rose by 35,000 in the three months to October – reaching the 2.5 million mark.

It means the country has an unemployment rate of 7.9% - the highest since the start of the year. The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will have greatest impact on young workers and the public sector.

In the public sector employment fell by 33,000, including 18,000 in local government and 8,000 in the civil service.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said the data served to ‘underline the challenges’ the Government faces.

‘We face a very difficult path to get the economy back on the straight and narrow, deal with the deficit, get business moving again and create long-term sustainable growth,’ he said.

‘We've been very clear - its going to be a long, difficult road.’

But Brian Strutton of the GMB union argued that Government measures were unecessarily causing unemployment to rise.

‘The economy doesn't need to correct itself as severely as it is being made to do. The consequences will be not only rising job losses,’ he warned.

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