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Unemployment - Dire statistics


The unemplyment figures published in March were expected to be really bad – but they were even worse than predicted. The additional number out of work and claiming benefit was 138,400, boosting the total to over 2 million for the first time in over a decade.

Hardest hit are the young, with 28.6 per cent of economically active 16- and 17-year-olds (ie, those not studying) on the dole. Among 18- to 24-year olds, 621,000 are out of work. By International Labour Organisation measures, the jobless total is 6.5 per cent of the working population.

The worse-than-expected news, coupled with dire reports about the slump in industrial production, led experts (self-proclaimed) to say that the government will have to consider new fiscal stimuli.

Meanwhile, the IMF predicts that the UK economy will slump by 3.8 per cent this year.