British joblessness up for fourth month

June 16, 2005 at 12:59 PM
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LONDON, June 16 (UPI) -- British unemployment rose for a fourth successive month in May, the nation's longest run of increasing joblessness in 13 years.

The number out of work and claiming benefits jumped by 13,200 last month, thanks to a rise of 6,000 in the West Midlands, site of MG Rover's now-shuttered Longbridge car factory, government figures revealed.

The last time Britain had four straight months of rising joblessness was in 1992, the Independent reported Thursday.

Despite the news, unemployment in Britain remains around 2.7 percent.

The jobless data showed the number of manufacturing jobs lost since the Labor Party came to power has exceeded 1 million.

"Labor has made life harder for manufacturers, asking them to shoulder heavier burdens at a time when competing in the global economy is getting harder," said David Willetts, the shadow Trade and Industry Secretary.

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