Unemployment rate rises to 5% as 1.72million now without a job


AROUND 1.72million workers are now without a job as the unemployment rate rose to 5% in the three months to November.

The latest figures were revealed by the Office for National Statistics this morning.

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The redundancy rate reached a record high of 14.2 per thousand in the three months to November

Meanwhile, the redundancy rate reached a record high of 14.2 per thousand during the same period.

The number of UK workers on payrolls has now fallen by 828,000 between February and December due to the coronavirus crisis, the ONS said.

Meanwhile, in October to December 2020, there were an estimated 578,000 vacancies, which is a quarterly increase of 81,000 vacancies.

It comes after the unemployment rate hit 4.9% in the three months to October, with 1.69million people without a job.

During the same period, redundancies also hit 370,000 workers.

Businesses made more workers redundant in the weeks leading up to when the furlough scheme was due to end.

Furlough was supposed to end in October but the scheme was extended at the last-minute until March 2021.

ONS head of economic statistics Sam Beckett said: “The latest monthly tax figures show that there were over 800,000 fewer employees on payroll in December than last February.

“In the three months to November, on our survey data, the employment rate fell sharply again, while the unemployment rate rose to hit 5% for the first time in over four years.

“The number of people saying they had been made redundant in the previous three months remains at a record high.

“Meanwhile vacancies, which were rising in summer and early autumn, have been falling in the last couple of months.”

Jeremy Thomson-Cook, chief economist at Equals Money, added: “Today’s jobs numbers are a tale of halves as we see both record redundancies, and rising job demand.

“While the furlough scheme will keep the headline unemployment rate fixed around 5% until its expiry, redundancies are expected to increase in retail, hospitality and leisure, and the construction sectors once government support ends.

“In the short term, and together with the latest noises from government as to when lockdown will start to soften, the current expiry of the furlough scheme at the end of April looks premature.

“We would both urge and expect the Chancellor to allow for a gradual cessation of support through the summer.”