British joblessness at 12-year high of almost 2 million

Unemployment in the U.K. surged by 146,000 in the last quarter of 2008, bringing joblessness to 6.3%, or 1.971 million, the highest in 12 years. The figures released by the Office for National Statistics were slightly better than the predictions of many analysts, who expected that unemployment had reached 2 million.

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