Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
- UK jobless rate highest in almost five years
- Unemployment rate hit 5.1% in October-December
- But payrolls have risen in last two months, after tumbling in pandemic
- ONS: labour market may be stabilising
The UK unemployment total rose to 1.744m people in October-December, up from 1.365m in January-March, just before the first lockdown.
Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, fears that many more will lose their jobs this year:
“These figures reveal the full scale of Rishi Sunak’s jobs crisis. We’re already in the worst economic crisis of any major economy, there are now 1.74 million people out of work, and forecasts suggest another million will lose their jobs in the coming months.
“The Chancellor should learn from the mistakes he made last year, when his last-minute extension to the furlough scheme came too late to prevent record redundancies.
Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP says there are ‘glimmers of hope’ in today’s unemployment figures:
“Today’s figures highlight the challenges people are still facing, but there are glimmers of hope with employment relatively stable, over 600,000 people moving onto payrolls* and hours worked up.
“With the Prime Minister setting out the roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown and the vaccine rollout protecting millions of people, we’re looking ahead to our recovery – our Plan for Jobs is creating new opportunities, boosting skills, and delivering a package of support for people of all ages, getting Brits back into work as we push to build back better.”