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Unemployment reaches 11-year high

Unemployment in the UK has reached an 11-year high, totalling 1.82 million people, according to the Office for National Statistics.The unemployment rate increased by 0.4 per cent during the third quarter, equivalent to 140,000 people, to reach 5.8 per cent currently.An increase of 0.5 per cent in the rate, or 182,000 in the total, was recorded over the year.In terms of claimants, there was a rise of 36,500 from September and 154,800 over the year to hit 980,900 in October, itself a seven-year high.TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the growing dole queues showed "a human tragedy of wasted potential".He continued: "The signs are that redundancies are coming even faster since these figures were collected. Countering unemployment must be public policy priority number one."The last time the number of unemployed was as high was in December 1997, when the figure stood at 1.97 million, while the claimant count has not reached such levels since March 2001, when a figure of 990,900 was recorded.

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