By Maximilian Clarke

Unemployment in the UK has risen still further bringing the total number of jobless to 2.57 million, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Unemployed youths - 16-24 year-olds - rose still further to reach an all time high of 991,000. A further rise of 17,000 benefits claimants has pushed the total to 1.6 million last month. Whilst high, the figures had largely been predicted at the rate of public sector cuts accelerates amidst a patteern of global economic uncertainty. Commenting on the results, Jeremy Cook- Chief Economist at World First currency exchange brokers- says that factors including the scrapping of the default retirement age have prompted a rise.

“Although these figures are shocking there are some underlying reasons and knee-jerk reactions are never helpful. We expect some firms have cut older workers before new legislation makes it illegal for employees over the age of 65 to be excluded on the basis of age," he said.

“Secondly, these job cuts were always expected in the public sector and have been earmarked by the coalition government for a long time."

Youth unemployment has soared by more that 1500% since before the recession, pushing the issue to the front of party politics. The issue became a central theme at many of last week's Conservative Party Conference talks and has been adopted by trades unions as ammunition in their campaigs against public sector cuts. The anti-cuts campaign will likely intensify as economic indicators decline.

“This will not curb calls for austerity measures to be loosened in the face of falling consumer demand and business confidence," says Cook.

Pay, excluding bonuses, climbed by just 1.8%- far exceeded by the current retail prices inflation index of 5.2%, equating to further drop in income in real terms.

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