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Unemployment in UK hits 2.5 million

UK unemployment rose by 49,000 to 2.5 million in the three months to the end of November, according to new figures published by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday.

The figures show that one in five 16 to 24-year-olds are now out of work, after a rise of 32,000 to 951,000 without jobs, the highest since records began in 1992.

The unemployment rate in the UK is 7.9%, with the number of men without jobs totaling 1.48 million in November and 1.02 women out of work.

The new figures come as the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) warned that the UK faced a double-dip in employment in the face of government cuts in the public sector.

‘History suggests the UK economy needs to grow at an annual rate of more than 2% if unemployment is to fall,” said IPPR chief economist, Tony Dolphin.

‘There is a real risk that growth will not be fast enough during 2011 and that unemployment will reach new highs for this economic downturn,” Dolphin said.

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