By Linda Young

London, United Kingdom

Unemployment in the United Kingdom has hit a 17-year high of 2.57 million people, boosting the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent, according to government figures.

The number of jobless workers rose by 114,000 from June to August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

ONS officials also said the 8.1 percent unemployment rate was the highest rate in 15 years and an increase of 0.4 percentage points from the previous quarter.

The number of people out of work and claiming unemployment compensation benefits also rose. That number increased by 17,500 to 1.6 million in September.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the higher than expected numbers show his government needs to do more to help the labor market, but he said that does not mean it should abandon austerity measures meant to deal with the deficit. Cameron argues that abandoning deficit reduction measures would harm the economy.

However, the rising jobless figures show that the slow economic recovery from the recession in the U.K. has put pressure on the labor market.


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World - UK Unemployment Rises to 17-year High | Global Viewpoint