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Europe is changing. Here's how. A reported blog.

UK unemployment figures up sharply

A jump of almost half a percent in three months brings the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent, the highest total in 17 years
Job centreEnlarge
Many more visits to the local job center are in store for Britons as unemployment reaches a 17 year high. (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

There are now 2.5 million people counted as unemployed in Britain. Almost a quarter of the working age population (16 -64) were inactive between June and August, the period during which today's figures were compiled.

The sharp jump in the jobless rate is both the least surprising and most shocking economic news the UK has seen since Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government took office in May 2010.

Leastt surprising: since the coalition's cuts were expected to cost half a million government workers their jobs over four years.

Shocking: because the private sector has picked up even less of the slack than Cameron and his Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne anticipated.

The Daily Telegraph rounded up some instant reaction to the unemployment news:

John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, told the paper, "These labor market figures are truly horrific, with the economy shedding almost 15,000 jobs each week between June and August. The quarterly rise in unemployment is reminiscent of an economy in recession rather than any kind of recovery ... "

And there is a good summary in the FT.

Today's figures in Britain are as stark a warning as any to the GOP austerity advocates prowling the halls of Congress. If you dramatically cut government spending, in a domestic economy that is stagnant, you will only succeed in raising the unemployment rate.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/europa/uk-unemployment-figures-sharply

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