Number of unemployed in the UK climbs to 2.4 million

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

According to official figures, the unemployment rate in the United Kingdom has risen to 7.8%, its highest level in thirteen years. 2.435 million people in the country are now without jobs. The rise is higher than that predicted by economists, who forecast an increase to 7.7%.

The Office for National Statistics reported that average earnings rose at the slowest rate since 2001, when records began. Excluding bonusues, incomes increased at a yearly rate of 2.5% in the quarter to June, less than the 2.6% in the quarter to May. Including bonuses, average earnings rose by 2.5%, a rise from the previous figure of 2.3%.

Before the release of the figures, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson announced that UK stimulus plans had managed to save about half a million jobs in the country. "The Treasury estimates that there would have been at least, probably far in excess of, 500,000 more jobs lost in the recession had it not been for the government's and the Bank of England's intervention," he said to BBC Radio.