UK unemployment up to 2.56m

<p>Some 2.56 million people in the UK are unemployed.</p>

The release of unemployment data for the UK shows 2.56 million people were out of work between December 2012 and February 2013.

Some 70,000 more individuals are looking for a job now compared to the last time figures were released by the government.

However, it was revealed that the number claiming Jobseeker's Allowance last month was down by 7,000 to 1.53 million, though the UK's unemployment rate is now up to 7.9 per cent.

Employment minister Mark Hoban stated there will be tough challenges ahead for the government, adding: "We will continue to give jobseekers all the help and support they need to realise their aspirations."

Data showed that 900,000 of the people who are unemployed have now been out of work for more than a year.

The recent ADP National Employment Report released in the US showed lower than forecast private sector jobs were added in March.

Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Wealth, told Reuters investors were disappointed with the figures.

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