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Unemployment rises to highest level in four years

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its latest findings which showed that the unemployment rate rose to 4.8%, the highest level since November 2016.

According to the ONS, in the three months to September 2020, redundancies also reached a record high of 314,000, marking an increase of a record 181,000 in a quarter.

The data from the ONS was compiled through the labour force survey of households, based on online interviews which took place from the start of July to the end of September 2020.

Estimates for the recorded period showed 32.51 million people aged 16 years and over in employment, 247,000 fewer than a year earlier. This was the largest annual decrease since January to March 2010.

Unemployment across those aged 16 to 24 increased by 101,000 in the year, and 53,000 in the quarter, to 602,000. People aged 25 to 49 saw unemployment rise by 125,000 on the year, and 93,000 on the quarter, totalling 651,000 people.

There was also a combined decrease of 60,000 in the quarter for those aged 35 to 64 years, to 20.06 million people. Finally, the report showed unemployment among those aged 50 to 64 increased by 78,000 in the year, and a record 84,000 in the quarter, to 341,000.

The employment rate was estimated at 75.3%, 0.8% points lower than a year earlier and 0.6% points lower than the previous quarter.

Although decreasing over the year, total hours worked had reportedly increased from the low levels in the previous quarter, when the number of Covid-19 lockdown measures were eased.

The total number of weekly hours worked was recorded at 925 million, down 127.6 million hours on the previous year but up a record 83.1 million hours compared with the previous quarter.

The estimated employment rate for men was 78.6%, reflecting 1.7% points down on the year and 1.1% points down on the quarter. Whereas the employment rate for women was 71.9%, 0.1% points up on the year but down 0.1% points on the quarter.


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