British official unemployment holds at 15-year high at 8.3%

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Britain's jobless rate stood at a 15-year high of 8.3 percent in the three months to October, while the number of unemployed hit the highest level for 17 years, official data showed on Wednesday.

"The unemployment rate for the three months to October 2011 was 8.3 percent of the economically active population," the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

"The last time the unemployment rate was higher was in the three months to January 1996.

The ONS added that the total number of unemployed people rose by 128,000 over the quarter to reach 2.64 million. That was the higest total since the three months to September 1994.

The rate was unchanged from the three months to September, but marked an increase from 7.9 percent in the three months to July.

© 2011 AFP

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