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UK jobless figures hit 2 million

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  • Number of people unemployed in United Kingdom tops 2 million
  • Rate is now 6.5 percent
  • Figures are worst in more than a decade
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The number of people unemployed in the United Kingdom has topped 2 million for the first time in more than a decade, Britain's Office for National Statistics said Wednesday.

The unemployment rate is now at 2.03 million, or 6.5 percent, in the three months to January 2009, the government said.

That is an increase of 0.5 percentage points from the previous three-month period and up 1.3 percentage points from a year earlier, the government said.

The new figure marked the worst unemployment levels in Britain since the Labour party came to power under Tony Blair in 1997.

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