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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
UK unemployment continues to rise
Two men looking for jobs at a Job Centre in London
Unemployment has been rising steadily
UK unemployment has risen to its highest level in six years, hitting 1.7 million in the three months to August.

The rise of 42,000 took the jobless rate to 5.5%, a rise of 0.1% on the previous quarter, the Office for National Statistics said.

The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance reached 962,000 in September, an increase of 10,200.

But earnings growth remained moderate, with wages rising 4.2% - down from 4.3% in the previous period.

The news on wages could help calm fears of an inflationary wage spiral.

Meanwhile, the number of economically inactive people fell by 64,000 during the quarter to 7.78 million.

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