UK unemployment nears two million | News | Al Jazeera

UK unemployment nears two million

Jobless total increases by 131,000 to 1.92 million as country's debts continue to rise.

    British government borrowing in December was $20.5bn

    Increasing redundancies

    The unemployment figures confirmed a flood of redundancies as banks pull credit lines, forcing companies to take cost-saving measures.

    The organisation's measure of unemployment, which includes those seeking work but not claiming unemployment benefits, rose to 1.923 million, the highest since September 1997, just after the ruling Labour party took office.

    Philip Shaw, an economist at Investec, a specialist banking group, said: "The rise in unemployment is absolutely awful. There's little doubt whatsoever that the labour market is loosening, and loosening very quickly."

    The ONS said that government borrowing in December was $20.5bn (14.8bn sterling), the second highest level after November, since monthly records began in 1993.

    It took total borrowing in the current financial year to $97bn, more than double its level at the same point last year and the worst since records started in 1946.

    As it strives to refloat the economy via extra spending and tax cuts, the government has already pencilled in public sector net borrowing of about $165bn next year and analysts say that figure is likely to climb.

    Meanwhile, Britain's council of mortgage lenders said on Wednesday that gross mortgage lending fell 47 per cent on the year in December to reach its lowest monthly level since April 2001.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The State of Lebanon

    The State of Lebanon

    Amid deepening regional rivalries what does the future hold for Lebanon's long established political dynasties?

    Exploited, hated, killed: The lives of African fruit pickers

    Exploited, hated, killed: Italy's African fruit pickers

    Thousands of Africans pick fruit and vegetables for a pittance as supermarkets profit, and face violent abuse.