UK unemployment increases to 4.8%, highest since 2016

UK unemployment rose to its highest level since 2016 in the three months through September as the COVID-19 pandemic forced employers to shed workers, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday.

The unemployment rate increased to 4.8% in the period, up 0.3 percentage points from last month and a full percentage point from a year earlier, the ONS said. The figure is still well below the peak of 8.5% reached in late 2011 after the global financial crisis.

The number people on company payrolls has dropped by 782,000 since the start of the pandemic as government restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 forced many businesses to lay off workers, while some shops and restaurants have closed for good.

Todays figures underline the scale of the challenge were facing, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said in a statement.


I know that this is a tough time for those who have sadly already lost their jobs, and I want to reassure anyone that is worried about the coming winter months that we will continue to support those affected and protect the lives and livelihoods of people across this country, Sunak said.

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