Unemployment soars over 2.2 million

UNEMPLOYMENT has soared to a 12-year high of more than 2.2 million after a record number of people lost their jobs in recent months, it was revealed today.

UNEMPLOYMENT has soared to a 12-year high of more than 2.2 million after a record number of people lost their jobs in recent months, it was revealed today.

In the East of England, there are 180,000 people out of work, an increase of 15,000 on the last quarter for an unemployment rate of 6%.

Nationally, the jobless total increased by 232,000 in the three months to April to reach 2.26 million, the worst figure since the end of 1996.

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance increased by 39,300 in May to 1.54 million, the highest total since the summer of 1997.

Other figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that youth unemployment has reached its worst level since 1994 after a 74,000 increase in the number of 18 to 24-year-olds out of work to 695,000.

Long term unemployment, counting those out of work for more than a year, increased by 54,000 in the latest quarter to a 10-year high of 515,000.

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Meanwhile, the number of people in work fell by 271,000 over the three months to 29.11 million, the biggest quarterly slump since comparable records began in 1971.