The latest figures give a mixed picture of the UK labour market
The number of people unemployed in the UK rose by 43,000 to 2.5 million during the three months to February, official figures have shown.
The jobless total is now at its highest since 1994.
The rate of unemployment now stands at 8% - the highest since 1996 - the Office for National Statistics said.
However, the total number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell in March by 32,900 to 1.54 million - a much sharper fall than expected.
The ONS figures showed youth unemployment rising, with 929,000 16 to 24-year-olds out of work in the December to February period - a rise of 4,000 on the previous three months. Unemployment among the over-50s rose by 7,000 to 396,000.
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