UK unemployment passes 2 million as ONS figures even catch the City analysts by surprise
The Office for National Statistics have issued their latest unemployment figures showing unemployment has now topped 2 million.
UK unemployment last month jumped at the fastest pace since records began indicating that while optimisim has started to grow on the financial markets again the lagging effects of the economic downturn are starting to bite.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics released today show 138,400 people joined the unemployed last month, pushing the number of unemployed to 2.03 million.
The number of people who began claiming jobless benefits in January was revised higher to 93,500 from 73,800.
City economists had expected a jump of 84.800 for February and the month's increase is the fastest since records began in 1971, and leaves the unemployment rate to 6.5pc.
The cuts that began in the crippled financial services industry have rapidly spread beyond the Square Mile to construction, retail and manufacturing.
Broadcaster ITV, engineering group Renishaw and manufacturer Meggitt have this month joined the ranks of those cutting positions as consumer and business spending evaporates.
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Things could get significantly worse according to The Bank of England's David Blanchflower, the most prominent economist to deliver an early warning about the threat of recession, said last month that unemployment could top 3 million, or 10pc in 2010.
He recommends the government spends billions of pounds on public works to create jobs.
UK Treasury Minister Stephen Timms admitted earlier this week that Britons face the prospect of much higher unemployment as the combination of an ailing banking system and sliding house prices depress the economy.