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16 November 2011, 13:15
Unemployment in the North West has dropped by 7,000 in the three months to September, official figures have revealed.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed that a total of 293,000 people were unemployed in the region between July and September, 7,000 less than in the previous quarter.
The region's unemployment rate was 8.5%.
Nationally, total unemployment rose by 129,000 in the latest quarter to 2.62 million, the worst figure since 1994, giving a jobless rate of 8.3%, the highest since 1996.
Youth unemployment reached a record high of over a million, with more 16 to 24-year-olds now out of work than at any time since 1992.
The number of jobless young people jumped by 67,000 in the three months to September to 1.02 million.
Other data from the ONS showed a 5,300 increase in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in October to 1.6 million, the eighth consecutive monthly rise and the highest total since the start of 2010.
Meanwhile, the number of people in employment fell by 197,000 in the quarter to September to 29.07 million, the lowest figure for over a year.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: "These figures show just how much our economy is being affected by the crisis in the eurozone. Our European partners must take urgent action to stabilise the position.
"Our challenge in the autumn statement will be to put in place additional measures to support growth and create employment opportunities, especially for young people.''