UK: Largest increase in unemployment in nearly two years

The outlook for the UK’s economic recovery darkened today as a surge in jobless youths triggered the largest increase in unemployment in nearly two years.

The country’s jobless rate stood at 2.51 million or 7.9% between May and July, the Office for National Statistics said, after the total number of unemployed increased by 80,000.

This was the largest quarterly increase in unemployment since the three months to August 2009, while economists had expected a rise of around 70,000.

Within these figures, the number of unemployed 18 to 24-year-olds surged by 77,000 to 769,000, the ONS said.

Elsewhere, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance increased by 20,300 to 1.58 million in August, the highest level of claimants since January 2010.