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20/05/2009 - big rise in jobless

More than 280,000 people lost their jobs in the first three months of this year, the biggest rise in 28 years.

This helped send unemployment soaring to 2.2 million, the worst figure since 1996.

The depressing figures cover the peiord form January to March and were released by the Office for National Statistics.

Adam Walker, President of the Solidarity Trade Union said:-

"The increase of 12 per cent is worse than predicted. So much for talk of a recovery."