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By JAMES LYONS Deputy Political Editor BRITAIN'S stunted growth and ailing jobs market has made it "the sick man of the G7".

The country has fared worse on both counts compared to every major global rival since the credit crunch struck in 2008.

It piles pressure on Tory Chancellor George Osborne to boost the economy in next month's Budget and follows grim figures about the young jobless.

The number of 16 to 18-year-old "Neets", who are not in education, employment or training, hit 175,000 in the last three months of last year - up 1,750 on 2010. The decision to scrap benefits for hard-up pupils to stay in school is creating a "lost generation", campaigners Save EMA warned. Unemployment is at a 16-year high of 2.67 million. On growth, Britain's economy shrank 7% at its lowest point and is now 3.8% smaller than at the start of the financial crisis.

The Institute for Public Policy Research, which released the figures, said: "The British economy is the sick man of the G7. Britain will soon overtake the US as the country with the worst jobs record since the recession started.

"Only tsunami-hit Japan and Eurozone-afflicted Italy have recovered as poorly as the UK."


WEAK3 Chancellor George Osborne
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2012
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