British jobless hit 17-year high: data

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The number of people unemployed in Britain jumped to 2.57 million in the three months to August, the highest amount since 1994, official data showed on Wednesday.

Britain's unemployment rate shot up to 8.1 percent during the quarter, the highest level for 15 years, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

"The unemployment rate for the three months to August 2011 was 8.1 percent of the economically active population, up 0.4 (percent) on the quarter. The last time the unemployment rate was higher was in the three months to July 1996," the ONS said.

"The total number of unemployed people increased by 114,000 over the quarter -- the largest quarterly increase since the three months to July 2009 -- to reach 2.57 million.

"The number of unemployed people has not been higher since the three months to October 1994," the ONS added.

© 2011 AFP

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