News round up: Two million unemployed but public sector shielded

Public sector shielded as unemployment hits 2 million

A growing divide between a burgeoning public sector and struggling private sector emerged yesterday as figures showed that the number of people out of work rose above two millions in January – the highest level since Labour came to power in 1997.

The number of people signing on for unemployment benefits rose by 138,000 last month – the fastest rate since 1971. Meanwhile, jobs and pay are still rising in the public sector. Official figures show that 30,000 jobs were created in the public sector last year, with 105,000 lost in the private sector.

Read more on this story in The Times

Unemployment worst in 12 years

Unemployment has hit two million for the first time in 12 years, figures showed yesterday.

But the real number could be even higher as nearly 3,000 workers a day are losing their jobs in the worst economic crisis for 60 years.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mirror

Brown under pressure over record jump in jobless

Gordon Brown was under increasing pressure to combat rising unemployment tonight after figures showed the deepening economic crisis caused a record jump in the jobless total last month.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Hospital hell boss refuses to apologise

The chairman of the hospital trust where up to 1,200 patients may have needlessly died refused to say sorry yesterday.

Asked yesterday at her £750,000 village mansion near Stafford if she had anything to say to the families of those who died, Toni Brisby, 65, refused to comment.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mirror

Minister rejects calls for public inquiry into hospital scandal

Alan Johnson, the health secretary, rejected calls yesterday for an independent public inquiry into how the worst NHS scandal since Labour came to power in 1997 was allowed to persist for at least four years.

In the Commons, the prime minister apologised to patients who suffered as a result of “unacceptable” mistakes in emergency care at Stafford hospital.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

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