UK unemployment passes two million

The number of jobless people in Britain hits highest rates in 12 years, data shows.

    Britain's economy has fallen into recession, as the global economic crisis deepens [EPA]

    The pan-European FSTEurofirst 300 index of top shares was also down 0.1 per cent at 715.48 points by 0941 GMT on Wednesday, after being up to 725.29 points earlier in the day.

    Grim predictions

    Howard Archer, a European economist at IHS Global Insight, a financial forecaster, said the unemployment figures could increase fears about the "potential depth and length of the recession".

    "Unemployment smashed through the two million barrier with ease ... and it seems set to head up towards three million pretty rapidly over the coming months as the economy contracts sharply and struggling businesses look to contain their costs," he said.

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that the British economy will contract by 3.8 per cent this year, and shrink a further 0.2 per cent in 2010.

    It said unemployment is also likely to rise further.

    David Blanchflower, a policymaker at the Bank of England, believes the jobless rate could climb up to 10 per cent by the end of the year.

    The central bank has attempted to alleviate the effects of the recession by slashing interest rates to a record low of 0.5 per cent.

    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.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.