Unemployment on the rise

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Unemployment has risen to 7.9% causing more misery for workers, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Unemployment rose by 0.1% in the three months to October this year, marking the first rise in six months.

The recent public sector job cuts are the reason behind the rising statistic, according to the figures. The number of people in public sector jobs is down 33,000 since June.

However, while unemployment is on the up, this is not reflected in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance as it fell by 1,200 from October to November taking the total claimant count to 1.46 million.

So what can you do if you've recently been made redundant?

Early retirement

If you're approaching 55, early retirement could be an option. The earliest age you can access any pension benefits is 55, so talk to your pension scheme adviser to see what options are available to you.

Change career direction

If you're considering a change of career, note down your key skills and any specific training you've done, and then think about which employers would value these attributes. It might be helpful to join networking sites such as LinkedIn.com to boost your profile.

Consolidate your savings

It's advisable to always keep three months' worth of salary as a cash cushion, so increase your savings balance if you can. If you've just been made redundant, chances are you'll be in for a decent pay-out, so invest this wisely. In addition, if you have income protection insurance, check the details of your policy as it may include cover for unemployment.

Change the way you work

If it's possible, offer to work on a part-time or freelance basis. While saving money for your company, it will also allow you to keep part of your income while you decide what to do next. Remember to stay motivated, and chances are you won't stay unemployed for long.

For more on redundancy read: Redundancy: what are your rights?

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