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Unemployment rises by 35,000

Unemployment has increased by 35,000 to 2.5 million between August and October, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

Male unemployment increased by 11,000 on the quarter to reach 1.46 million and the

number of unemployed women increased by 24,000 on the quarter to reach 1.04 million, the highest figure since the three months to May 1988.

There were 839,000 people unemployed for over 12 months, the highest figure since the three months to February 1997 and up 41,000 on the quarter.

There were 158,000 redundancies in the three months to October 2010, up 15,000 on the quarter.

This is the first quarterly increase in redundancies since the three months to April 2010.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – the claimant count – fell by 1,200 between October and November 2010 to reach 1.46 million.

But the number of people claiming for up to six months increased by 11,600 to reach 954,900.

The number of male claimants fell by 6,000 on the month to reach 1.03 million but the number of female claimants increased by 4,800 to reach 437,600.

Charles Davis, managing economist at the Centre of Economic and Business Research, says there is a long way to go in labour market recovery.

He says: “In many cases, businesses are still too cautious about future prospects to aggressively expand headcount, especially ahead of a year in which the VAT rise and the effect of soaring commodity prices will squeeze households.

“Although private sector employment should grow to some extent in 2011, the public sector will have started to retrench; the Office for Budget Responsibility is expecting 40,000 job losses between in 2011-12. Hence, we expect the unemployment rate to rise above 8% in 2011.”

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