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Unemployment figures at an all-time high

The number of unemployed people increased by 165,000 over the quarter, while
the claimant count was 1.39 million in February, up 138,400 on January and
595,600 on the year.

There were 266,000 redundancies in January 2009, an increase of 86,000 on the
quarter and 154,000 on the year ­ which ONS says is the highest figure since
comparable records began in 2005.

Job vacancies dropped in the three months to February 2009 by 74,000 to
482,000.

Bank sector redundancies continue to contribute to these numbers: RBS deputy
chief executive Gordon Pell told MPs at the Scottish Affairs Committee in March
that the bank would cut 2,700 jobs ­ up from the 2,300 it announced in February
­ with 260 posts to be cut in Scotland.

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