Unemployment highest in 17 years

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Unemployment yesterday hit a 17-year high, after government figures revealed nearly 1.8 million UK people were jobless.

Unemployment has now risen for the last eight consecutive months, and the total number could hit 2 million by Christmas, as the latest figures do not include the fall-out from the financial crisis.  
 
From June-August, 122,000 lost their jobs, pushing the official unemployment figure up from 5.2% last quarter to 5.7%.
 
Men have been hit much harder than women with an increase of 110,000 over the quarter, compared to 52,000 for women.
 
Nigel Meager, director of the Institute for Employment Studies says: "Employment is now dropping rapidly, with further announced job losses still to show in the figures. No part of the country is spared.
 
"In an economic downturn the real human cost is likely to hit lower skilled workers who find it harder to move to another job and have less of a financial cushion to see them through difficult times."

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