U.K. Unemployment Rises Most Since 1992


U.K. unemployment rose the most in 16 years in August, adding to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's woes as falling house prices and the global financial crisis push Britain toward a recession.

Claims for jobless benefits rose 32,500 to 904,900 from a month earlier, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. Separately, the Bank of England said its Monetary Policy Committee voted 8-1 on Sept. 4 to keep interest rates unchanged.

Financial firms worldwide have cut more than 113,000 jobs after the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which filed for bankruptcy Sept. 15, has about 6,000 employees in Europe and mergers in the industry may lead to further reductions.

Claimant unemployment has risen for seven months in a row. It gained a revised 27,800 in July, compared with a previous estimate of 20,100.

The U.K. economy will shrink in the third and fourth quarters, fulfilling the technical definition of a recession as two straight quarters of contraction, the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, said Sept. 10.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
9/17/2008 5:08:17 AM