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UK unemployment rate jumps to 4.5% as Covid-19 jobless crisis deepens – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, including new UK unemployment figures

  • UK jobless rate hits 4.5% in June-August
  • Redundancies jump as employment total falls

ING economist James Smith believes the UK jobless rate could hit 10% this winter – which would be the highest since the 1993 recession.

He told clients:

“With new Covid-19 restrictions across the UK, there can be little doubt that challenges facing the jobs market are mounting. The latest labour market figures continue to show further signs of strain. While the unemployment rate remained pretty low at 4.5% for the three months to August, there are clear questions (as highlighted by the ONS this month) as to how useful this metric is at the moment.

Instead, we need to look at the more real-time data from payrolls, which shows that there were still roughly 670,000 fewer employees than before lockdown in March. Unfortunately, things are unlikely to improve in the near-term, and the combined impact of renewed business closures and the end of the original furlough scheme is likely to push the unemployment rate considerably higher into year-end.”

“Many, many operators are on their knees.”

This tweet from the TUC shows how the UK jobless rate has pushed higher, while the employment total is dropping.

The latest quarter (Jun-Aug 2020) saw a drop in the employment rate compared to the same period last year (down from 75.9% to 75.6%) and a rise in the unemployment rate (up from 3.9% to 4.5%). pic.twitter.com/wtltpP1s1z

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