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A leading union has urged the Government to do more to tackle rising unemployment after new research revealed that some parts of the country, including Middlesbrough, had a jobless rate of almost 15%.
A study by the GMB found that Nottingham had the worst unemployment level in the UK at 14.8%, followed by Middlesbrough (14.4%), Sandwell (14.1%) and Newham in east London (13.7%).
The North East had the highest regional rate at 9.9%, with a total of 122,200 people out of work, compared with the UK rate of 7.8%.
Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB, said: ``These important figures on unemployment must be a serious cause for concern for both the Government and the communities affected.
``GMB experience is that the position on the ground is getting worse. With Government getting rid of tens of thousands of public sector jobs and with the private sector either stalling or going backwards the outlook in many areas is very worrying, bordering on bleak.
``The latest downturn in economic growth prospects announced by the Governor of the Bank of England confirms GMB experience. In the light of the hard facts that the economy is stalling, the Bank's monetary policy committee must put priority on getting growth going all across the UK.
``The priority is for investment to create jobs and boost confidence rather than cuts in the tax rate for the super-rich.
``Investment in housing, school repair, energy and transport are all badly needed and will create jobs and growth in all sectors of the economy. The squandering of human talent through unemployment is a crime that will haunt future generations.''