UK unemployment in surprise jump

UK unemployment rose by 44,000 to almost 2.5m in the three months to the end of December, according to official figures.

The UK unemployment rate is now 7.9 per cent.

Meanwhile the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance increased by 2,400 last month to 1.46m.

Other data from the ONS showed that average earnings rose by 1.8 per cent in the year to December.