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Young and old unemployed struggle to find work

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Longer-term unemployment among young and older workers is growing sharply according to the TUC.

The analysis shows it is increasingly difficult for employees under 24 and over 50 to find work once they lose their jobs.

There has been a 12.8% quarterly increase in the number of young people unemployed for up to 6 months (390,000 under-24s) and a 6% increase in the number of young people out of work for 6 to12 months (80,000).

There has also been a 29.7% quarterly increase in the number of workers over 50 out of work in the past six to 12 months.

In September 156,000 people were made redundant - a 22.6% increase over the last quarter.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: "These are dire figures. High unemployment is going to be with us for some time now. It is not just an economic problem, but a social problem too. The rise in long-term youth unemployment is particularly worrying."