UK unemployment rises as students join dole queue

Official statistics yesterday indicated that the number of unemployed rose by 80,000 to over 2.5m in the last quarter.UK unemployment rises as students join dole queueAccording to the Office for National Statistics this was the largest increase for nearly two years leaving the overall percentage unemployed at 7.9%.

These latest figures come as blow to the government as they look to balance job losses in the public sector by created jobs in the private sector.

Chris Grayling said the figures “underline the scale of the challenge we face particularly given the slower growth across Europe and North America”.

He went on to say “The government is taking the steps needed to support growth and rebalance the economy,” said Grayling.

In terms of the long-term jobless, “our new Work Programme is now up and running across the country and will offer flexible support tailored to people’s needs to help them get into employment”.

The ONS also indicated that the numbers were boosted by students leaving their studies for the summer recess.

Over to the other side of the pond and US retail sales came to a halt during the month of August largely blamed by low consumer confidence and Hurricane Irene which hit the east coast of North America.

Initial estimates suggest that overall sales did not grow at all compared to 0.2% and 0.3% in the previous two months.

Biggest falls were seen in vehicles and clothing however Electronics and sports goods helped offset that particular fall.

There maybe some brighter news in the next quarter as postponed sales and repairs following the hurricane could lead to a decent growth figure for the final quarter of the year.

Finally, a developing story from Swiss bank UBS.

Just when you thought that things can’t get any worse- the swiss gnomes have discovered an unauthorised series of gambling positions by one of their staff and early estimates suggest this could lead to a £1.3 billion loss for the bank according to an official statement.

By comparison this amount compares to the entire profits for the whole bank from the past three months combined.

Could be an interesting story over the next few days and an additional headache for the SNB…

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