15 Feb '12, 2pm

British unemployment rate hits 16-year peak

British unemployment rate hits 16-year peak

LONDON: Britain's unemployment rate hit a 16-year peak in the three months to December, while the number of people claiming jobless benefits struck the highest total in two years, official data showed Wednesday. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement that the unemployment rate stood at 8.4 percent. It was last higher in the three months to November 1995. The so-called claimant count of people registered for unemployment benefit increased by 6,900 in January to reach 1.61 million, the ONS added. That marked the highest total since January 2010 and the eleventh straight monthly rise. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed people increased by 48,000 over the quarter to reach 2.67 million. However, that was the smallest quarterly increase in unemployment since the three months to June 2011. The data came as the Bank of England (BoE) predicted on Wednesday th...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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