United Kingdom jobless rate rises to 4.1% as virus effects take hold

Numbers claiming unemployment benefits rises in Shropshire

Unemployment figures across Scotland rose between May and July amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Britain's unemployment rate rose for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March but official data published on Tuesday also showed a less severe fall in employment than feared.

Statistics from the Office for National Statistics shows that the unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over increased to 4.6% (128,000) over that period, a 0.1% increase on the previous quarter.

The number of people who are estimated to be temporarily away from work (including furloughed workers) has fallen, but it was still more than 5 million in jolly 2020.

The Bank of England has forecast that the unemployment rate will hit 7.5% So, more pain is expected for the GBP ahead and expect sellers on rallies unless some great Brexit news trumps all the bearish economic data. The number of people claiming for jobless benefits has risen to 2.7 million, an increase of 121 per cent since March.

Although redundancies rose by 48,000 to 156,000, the biggest increase in over 10 years, so far they are well below their peak during the 2008 financial crisis.

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"However, the decline in employees on payrolls and the rise in the claimant count in August as the furlough scheme began to taper is a clear warning that the full impact of coronavirus on the United Kingdom labour market is yet to come".

The government's coronavirus job subsidy scheme, which is now being slowed down gradually, has prevented numerous layoffs.

Early indicators for august 2020 suggest that the number of employees in the United Kingdom on payrolls was down around 695,000 compared with March 2020.

Unemployment in the region for the three months to July was however down 1,000 to 129,000 for the three months to the end of July - 4.4 per cent of the working population.

The UK Average Earnings released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is a key short-term indicator of how levels of pay are changing within the UK economy.

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Minister for employment Mims Davies said: "We recognise that the pandemic has been hard for many people who are anxious about their incomes and that's why our £30 billion plan for jobs is aimed at protecting, supporting and creating jobs and it's welcome news that there is some recovery in vacancies".

The leader of the opposition Labour Party urged the government to hold urgent talks with the trade unions, businesses and Labour to come up with support and training programmes.

"The number of job vacancies continued to recover into August, too".

Companies in sectors such as tourism and high-street retailers have announced major job losses. London's City Airport said on Monday it needed to cut up to 239 jobs or 35% of its staff, and similar reductions are expected at the much larger Heathrow.

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