UK unemployment rises to 5.1% as Covid lockdown freezes economy

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(The Guardian)

Unemployment in the UK edged higher to 5.1% in December as the government’s furlough scheme continued to prevent a steep rise in job losses in the run-up to Christmas.

With much of the economy still in enforced hibernation, the unemployment rate in the three months to December increased from 5% in November and was up by 1.5 percentage points from a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.

More recent figures from HM Revenue & Customs for January showed that there were 726,000 fewer people on company payrolls in January compared with February 2020, before the pandemic.

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