UK unemployment rises for seventh month in a row

UK unemployment rose in August at the fastest rate since December 1992. The 3.7% increase in those seeking work was the seventh monthly rise in a row.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 32,500 more people claimed unemployment-related benefits last month than in July, taking the total to 904,900.

Over the quarter to July, the number of Britons out of work rose to 1.72 million - the highest total since spring 1999.

An additional 81,000 claimed jobseeker's allowance in the three months to July, a 4.7% rise on the previous quarter.

The overall figure for UK unemployment has been predicted to reach 2 million next year.

The construction sector has been particularly hard hit by job losses over recent months, with large-scale redundancies announced at Wolseley, Persimmon and Redrow, among others.