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UK unemployment at 15-year high

The number of unemployed people in Britain has reached a 15-year-high of over 2.5 million, according

The number increased by 43,000 in the three months to February. This has pushed up the unemployment rate by 0.1 per cent to 8 per cent, the highest since September 1996.

The number of economically inactive people also rose sharply to hit 8.1 million, a sharp increase of 110,000.

The number of people unemployed for over a year increased 89,000 to reach 7,26,000. However, the number of people claiming jobless benefits fell reach 1.54 million, down 32,900 between February and March.

The number of part-time workers who said they could not find a full-time job rose 13,000 to 1.05 million, the highest ever since 1992. The number of employed people dropped 89,000 to reach 28.82 million.

Unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds is rising too, with 929,000 out of work in the three month period to February. This is an increase of 4,000 over the previous three months.