British unemployment figure hits 17-year high

Updated: 2011-10-12 22:02


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LONDON - The number of Britain's unemployed population surged to a 17-year high from June to August this year, with 2.57 million people out of work, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday.

The figure was 114,000 more than the previous three months, the largest quarterly rise since July 2009, the office said.

Unemployment rate in the June-August period stood at a depressing 8.1 percent, the highest in 15 years.

The number of young people aged from 16 to 24 without a job reached 991,000, the highest since 1992. Unemployment rate for this particular group hit 21.3 percent, up 1.6 percentage points compared with the previous quarter.

In the meantime, the country also saw 1.6 million people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in September, 17,500 more than in August.