U.K. Unemployment Hits 13-Year High

In Britain, unemployment rises again, reaching its highest level since 1996.
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LONDON (TheStreet) -- U.K. unemployment reached nearly 8%, its highest level in 13 years, the British government reported Wednesday.

Since the year began, 743,000 Brits have lost their jobs -- 210,000 in the most recent quarter, which ended in July. Many expect the U.K.'s total unemployment figure to reach 3 million by next year.

According to the report, issued by the Office for National Statistics, Britain's jobless rate rose 0.7 points to 7.9% in the period, while a different gauge showed that the number of newly unemployed entering the public doll rose 24,400 in August to about 1.6 million, a smaller increase than economists were expecting.

Young workers (from 16 to 24 years old) have felt the brunt of the downturn, with 947,000 having lost their jobs, the most since record-keeping began.

Investors appeared to shrug off the news. London's FTSE gained 1.5% Wednesday, following global markets higher, as investors chose to focus on signs of recovery. One recent economic report showed that services businesses grew in August at their quickest rate since 2007.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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