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World

UK unemployment rate rises to 4.9%: official data

  • The number of UK redundancies meanwhile soared by a record 370,000 in the three months to October, despite an easing in the last month of the period.
Published December 15, 2020

LONDON: Britain's unemployment rate has risen to 4.9 percent as a record amount of jobs were wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed on Tuesday.

The reading for the three months to the end of October compared with an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent for July-September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

Since the start of the UK pandemic in March, the number of payroll employees has dived by 819,000 -- with more than a third of this slump in the virus-plagued hospitality sector.

The ONS stressed however that the largest falls in payroll staff were experienced at the start of the deadly Covid-19 crisis.

The number of UK redundancies meanwhile soared by a record 370,000 in the three months to October, despite an easing in the last month of the period.

"Overall we have seen a continuation of recent trends, with a further weakening in the labour market," said ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan.

"The latest monthly tax numbers show over 800,000 fewer employees on the payroll in November than in February, with new analysis finding that over a third of this fall came from the hospitality sector.

He added: "While there was another record rise in redundancies in the latest three months as a whole, they began to ease during October."

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