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Unemployment is at 12-year high

Unemployment in the Isle of Man has hit a 12-year high, and now stands at 2.2% of the economically active population.

The number of people looking for work went up by 205, from 721 to 926 in January, said the island's Treasury Minister Allan Bell.

The increase was bigger than expected and Mr Bell cited job losses in retail, hospitality and construction as having a major impact.

Mr Bell said there could be further increases in the coming months.

The Manx unemployment rate of 2.2% compares with 6.3% in the United Kingdom, and 9.2% in Ireland, but was not "all doom and gloom", the minister added.

"We are still experiencing very near record levels of people in employment - we still have somewhere in the region of 45,000 people in work on the island.

"Equally this month, we have another 250 odd vacancies still to be filled, so it's not all doom and gloom."

"There is an increase, but it is only to 2.2% and there are other signs of good news around that."

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