UK unemployment rate drops but 800,000 jobs lost since pandemic began Business News

The UK unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in the three months ending February, but there are now more than 800,000 fewer workers on the company’s payrolls than before pandemic, according to official figures.

As businesses adjusted to the foreclosure measures put in place earlier in the year, the unemployment rate edged down 5% – the first time the quarterly rate has fallen since 2019.

Between December and February, 1.67 million people were unemployed, the Office for National Statistics reported. This figure was 50,000 lower than the previous three months, but 311,000 higher than a year ago.

Monthly figures revealed a drop in the number of workers on company payrolls as companies prepared to reopen after the lockdown.

The number of salaried workers fell by 56,000 between February and March, meaning there were 813,000 fewer workers on payrolls than in March 2020.

More than half of those who lost their jobs in the past year were under 25 and another quarter were between 25 and 34.

The figures indicate that the peak in unemployment is likely lower than feared last year when the government planned to end the holiday program. About five million people remain on the diet.

There were signs of a recovery in the job market as pandemic restrictions eased with an almost 16% increase in job vacancies in March. However, the number of vacancies remains down 22.7% from a year ago. Arts, entertainment and recreation, as well as accommodation and food services continue to be the most affected sectors.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “The latest figures suggest that the labor market has been broadly stable in recent months after the major shock of last spring.

“The number of employees fell slightly in March after a few months of growth.

“There are, however, more than 800,000 fewer employees than before the outbreak of the pandemic, and with around five million people employed but still on leave, the labor market remains sluggish.

“However, with the prospect of businesses reopening, there was a marked increase in job vacancies in March, especially in sectors such as the hospitality industry.”

Suren Thiru, head of economics at UK chambers of commerce, said: “Unemployment remains on track to peak towards the end of 2021, once the leave scheme expires and those who stop seeking employment during the pandemic are considering returning to the workforce as restrictions ease.

“While the leave program will limit the peak of job losses, the long-term structural unemployment caused by Covid-19, especially among young people, may mean the path back to pre-pandemic levels is lagging behind by in relation to the broader economic recovery. “

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This notice was published: 2021-04-20 08:09:51