UK unemployment hits 4.8% as 782,000 Brits out of work since March

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UK unemployment has risen to 4.8% in the three months to September with 782,000 more Brits now out of work since March.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the unemployment rate increased from 4.5% from the previous quarter.

UK unemployment has reached 4.8% in the three months to September

Redundancies also reached their highest level on record, hitting 314,000 from the same period – an increase of 181,000.

Businesses made more workers redundant in anticipation of the end of the furlough scheme, which was supposed to end in October but has now been extended until March 2021.

It comes amid warnings that the jobs crisis will get worse over the next few months.

Last week the Bank of England said unemployment will peak at 7.75% by spring 2021.

Big-name brands have announced mass job cuts in recent weeks and months, including Sainsbury’s and Argos, Lloyds, John Lewis and Rolls-Royce. 

ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said: “The latest monthly tax numbers show over three-quarters of a million fewer employees on the payroll in October than in March.

“Unemployment grew sharply in the three months to September, with many of those who lost their jobs earlier in the pandemic beginning to look for work again. The number of redundancies has also reached a record high.

“Vacancies continued to recover from the very low numbers seen earlier in the year. However, these figures predate the reintroduction of restrictions in many parts of the UK.”

Responding to the latest jobless numbers, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s figures underline the scale of the challenge we’re facing.

“I know that this is a tough time for those who have sadly already lost their jobs, and I want to reassure anyone that is worried about the coming winter months that we will continue to support those affected and protect the lives and livelihoods of people across this country.”

More to follow…

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