Supermarket chain Asda has announced that it will be creating 7,000 jobs in the UK during 2009.

The retailer, which operates the George brand of value clothing, has also committed to recruiting 3,000 long-term unemployed people for existing vacancies.

"This year we will create 7,000 new jobs at a time when many companies are having to lay people off. We will also be helping 3,000 long-term unemployed get back into work by specifically targeting them for existing vacancies in our business," Asda CEO Andy Bond said.

The Wal-Mart-owned supermarket chain will create 3,700 new jobs throughout the UK with the opening of nine new food stores, five new non-food Asda Living outlets and the extension of 15 existing stores.

In total, ASDA will create 580,000 square feet of new store space in 2009.

In addition, 2,000 new jobs will be created through the expansion of its home shopping business and a further 1,000 positions through organic growth.