British unemployment rises for 11th straight month

The number of jobless people in the United Kingdom rose for an 11th consecutive month in December as cash-strapped firms scrambled to cut costs. The country's unemployment rate is now more than six percent.


REUTERS - The number of Britons out of work and claiming benefit rose for an eleventh consecutive month in December while the total number out of work approached the two million mark, official data showed on Wednesday.


The jump of 77,900 was slightly less than analysts had forecast.


The Office for National Statistics said the broader ILO measure of unemployment, which includes those out of work but not claiming benefit, rose to 6.1 percent from 6.0 percent, its highest rate since the three months to April 1999.

The figures confirm anecdotal evidence that the pace of redundancies is picking up as banks pull credit lines, forcing firms to take dramatic cost saving measures.

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