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Construction job losses increase 19pc on prior year

Construction job cuts were almost 20 per cent higher in the three months to September 2009 than in the same period a year earlier.

Redundancies in construction during the quarter 38,000 according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics today.

The losses represented a 19 per cent increase on the 32,000 losses in the three months to September 2008.

But construction redundancies were down from 42,000 in the three months to June 2009 and at their lowest for a year.

The number of people unemployed in the UK overall fell for the first time in 18 months.

Total unemployment stood at 2.46 million at the end of November, down 7,000 on the figure three months ago.

The rate of unemployment now stands at 7.8 per cent, down from 7.9 per cent last month.