Young people, women hardest hit by unemployment in U.K.

Women receiving unemployment benefits hits 15-year high, youth unemployment at 20.5 per cent

Young people and women have been the major casualties of recent layoffs in the United Kingdom, according to quarterly figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Unemployment figures for those under 25 went increased 66,000 in the last quarter of 2010, to 965,000, the highest since comparable records began in 1992. Their unemployment rate rose to 20.5 per cent, said the ONS.

The number of male claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen for 12 consecutive months, but the number of female claimants increased by 7,800 in the quarter to 449,200, the highest figure since October 1996.

The loss of 62,000 part-time jobs occurred entirely among women.

The number of people working overall fell by 68,000, to 29.12 million, giving a U.K. employment rate of 70.5 per cent, down 0.3 per cent in the quarter.

As in the previous quarter, the number of "unwilling part-timers," those taking part-time work because they couldn’t find full-time employment, rose by 44,000 to reach 1.19 million, the highest figure since 1992.

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