Unemployment figures hit new high

The unemployment rate has hit 7.9 per cent, figures have shown.

By politics.co.uk staff

The Office for National Statistics showed a 2.3 per cent increase on the quarterly figures over the past year. The rate has not been higher since the three months to November 1996.

The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance rose to 1.61 million in August, its highest level since Tony Blair came to power in May 1997.

And there are now 2.47 million people out of work, an increase of 210,000 over the quarter and 743,000 over the year.

However, the number of redundancies was 246,000 – down 55,000 over the quarter.