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Published on May 12, 2009
The number of people out of work soared by almost a quarter of a million in the first three months of this year, figures show. The rise of 244,000 is the biggest quarterly increase in the jobless total since 1981 and was larger than many analysts had predicted.
It takes the number of people in the UK now looking for work to just over 2.2 million, the worst figure since 1996.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Theresa May accused Labour of "sleepwalking through this unemployment crisis."
She went on: "Behind these grim statistics, people's lives have been shattered. We still have a Government that is devoid of ideas and devoid of any real vision to help people out of this grave situation."