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British unemployment reached 2.47 million in July, its highest level since 1994, as 210,000 more people lost their jobs in the second quarter of 2009, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Britain’s jobless rate grew to 7.9 percent from March to May 2009, up 0.8 percent over the previous quarter. In July 2008, unemployment was at 5.6 percent, an annual rise of 2.3 percent.
“Claims for unemployment benefit in August grew by 24,400 from July to 1.61 million, the highest since May 1997. And one in five people aged between 16 and 24 is now looking for work, the highest on record, the data showed. The number of jobless in this age group rose from 928,000 to 947,000—edging closer to the landmark of one million and adding to fears of a new ‘lost generation’ of young people” (BBC).
Joblessness is expected to reach three million in 2010, possibly higher, according to economist Howard Archer at Global Insight, a world-leading economics organization.
In related news, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released a study revealing the loss of American jobs. The report, “Trade Action—or Inaction: The Cost for American Workers,” showed that the United States could suffer a net loss of 383,400 jobs if Washington fails to implement its pending free trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea. Meanwhile, the European Union and Canada move ahead with their agreements between their governments.
The study also found that implementing “Buy American” provisions in America’s Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will result in the net loss of 176,800 jobs if foreign governments retaliate with their own “buy national” policies.
In addition, U.S. failure to implement the trucking provisions of NAFTA, coupled with subsequent retaliation from Mexico, may equal 25,600 jobs lost.
Ultimately, America could lose an estimated 585,800 jobs.