British jobless total climbs to 2.52 mln

British unemployment has risen for the first time in more than a year, official data showed on Wednesday, dealing a blow to finance minister George Osborne ahead of his annual budget.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 20 Mar 2013, 6:48 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 4:28 AM

The jobless total advanced by 7,000 to 2.516 million in the three months to the end of January, from 2.503 million in the three months to the end of December, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

That was the first increase since the three months to January 2012.

The gloomy figure was sparked by a sharp jump in youth unemployment among 18-24 year-olds.

The ONS added that the unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent.

Numbers claiming jobless benefits meanwhile fell by 1,500 in December to 1.54 million in February. That was the fourth monthly decline in a row.

Later on Wednesday, at 1230 GMT, Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne will deliver his 2013/2014 taxation and spending plans before parliament.

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