Job cuts hit young and old

Workers aged under 24 and over 50 are taking the brunt of the wave of redundancies that is currently sweeping the UK, the TUC has warned.

The organisation's analysis found there had been a 12.8% quarterly increase in those aged under 24 who had been unemployed for up to six months and a 29.7% rise in the number of over-50s who have been without a job for 6-12 months.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealed unemployment rose by 140,000 over the past three months, taking the total number of those out of work to 1.82m.

"These are dire figures," said TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber. "High unemployment is going to be with us for some time now. It is not just an economic problem, but a social problem too. The rise in long-term youth unemployment is particularly worrying.

"More than a 1,000 people a day are now finding themselves unemployed through no fault of their own. And as these figures show, they face a long hard struggle to get a new job."

Unemployment is expected to hit 2m by Christmas as the economic recession worsens.

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