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Blanchflower: jobless to rise 100k a month

BRITISH unemployment will continue to rise this year and next, adding some 100,000 more to jobless numbers a month, former Bank of England monetary policy committee (MPC) member David Blanchflower said yesterday.<br /><br />Blanchflower, who stepped down from the MPC at the end of last month, said the current recession made the economic outlook particularly difficult to forecast and tentative signs things may be improving could turn out to be a false dawn.<br /><br />&ldquo;The worry is that we have lots of downside risks,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I suspect we are going to see unemployment increasing through the rest of 2009, probably through much of 2010 as well, and these increases are going to be large. My view is that we are going to see something like an average of 100,000 a month for the next year or so.&rdquo;<br /><br />Official data last month showed the internationally-recognised ILO measure of unemployment rose by 244,000 to 2.215m in the three months to March, taking the jobless rate up to 7.1 per cent. The number of Britons claiming jobless benefit rose by 57,100.<br /><br />Asked for his prediction for the economy, Blanchflower said it was &ldquo;unusually difficult to forecast&rdquo;.