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Unemployment levels could top 3 million

Government figures have revealed that unemployment levels have reached 2.4 million in the UK.

The figures have sparked economists into predicting the highest jobless levels since the 80s and are expecting levels to top 3.25m.

Vicky Redwood, economist at Capital Economics told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s because of time lags between companies seeing the economy improving and being certain about the outlook to make the commitment to employ more staff.

“It’s not just enough for the economy to be expanding again. In the past it had to be growing at around 2.5% for unemployment to come down and that could be a very long way off.”

Redwood expects the number of unemployed people in the UK to peak at 3.25m in the first quarter of 2011.

The Office for National Statistics said 18% of under-25s were out of work and not in full-time education.

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