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Unemployment rate nears five-year high with 1.74million now jobless

Unemployment rate nears five-year high with 1.74million now jobless

UNEMPLOYMENT has risen to 5.1%, its highest in nearly five years.It means the total number of Brits who are jobless now stands at 1.74million, new off

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UNEMPLOYMENT has risen to 5.1%, its highest in nearly five years.

It means the total number of Brits who are jobless now stands at 1.74million, new official data shows.

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Coronavirus has caused a rise in unemployment

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Coronavirus has caused a rise in unemployment

There were 121,000 more people out of work in in the three months from October to December 2020, compared to the three-month period before that.

And it was higher than the same period in 2019 when 454,000 were unemployed.

The unemployment rate of 5.1% is at its highest since early 2016, according to the latest figures form the Office For National Statistics (ONS).

The unemployment rate was 4.9% in December and 5% in January.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS said: “Our survey shows that the unemployment rate has had the biggest annual rise since the financial crisis.

“The latest monthly tax figures show tentative early signs of the labour market stabilising, with a small increase in the numbers of employees paid through payroll over the last couple of months – though there are still over 700,000 fewer people employed than before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The ONS said there was a small increase in the number of people on payrolls over the past two months.

The number of staff on payrolls has fallen by 726,000 in total since February 2020, largely at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

But there were 83,000 more people on payrolls in January this year compared to a month before in December.

New data also shows younger workers have been harder hit by the pandemic.

Mr Athow said: “Almost three-fifths of this fall in employees since the onset of the pandemic came from the under-25s, according to a new age breakdown we are publishing for the first time today.”

Meanwhile the number of job vacancies was estimated at 599,000 for November 2020 to January 2021 – 211,000 fewer than a year ago but 64,000 more than the previous quarter.

The ONS said: “The number of job vacancies in November 2020 to January 2021 was 26% lower than a year ago.

What are my redundancy rights?

BEFORE making you unemployed, your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.

You are entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you’ve been working somewhere for at least two years.

How much you’re entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You’ll get:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
  • One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
  • One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.

Sadly, you won’t be entitled to a payout if you’ve been working for your employer for fewer than two years.

There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.

You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.

“This is an improvement on the position in summer 2020 when vacancies were down by nearly 60% year on year, but the rate of improvement has slowed in the past few months.

“Further restrictions and national lockdowns recently have had an impact on vacancies in some industries more than others, most notably the accommodation and food services industry. “

The Prime Minister yesterday announced a roadmap for lockdown being lifted.

He promised not to “pull the rug out” on economic support hinting that there could be an extension to the furlough scheme.

Furlough is set to finish at the end of April but Chancellor Rishi Sunak could announce an extension to the scheme in his Budget speech, which is due to be delivered next week.

Mr Sunak said today: “I know how incredibly tough the past year has been for everyone, and every job lost is a personal tragedy.

“That’s why throughout the crisis, my focus has been on doing everything we can to protect jobs and livelihoods.

“At the Budget next week I will set out the next stage of our Plan for Jobs, and the support we’ll provide through the remainder of the pandemic and our recovery.”

Non-essential retail is set to open again from April 12, while pubs and restaurants can start serving outside with table service and takeaways.

The move gives hopes to thousands of workers in retail and hospitality who have been unable to work because the lockdown.

Those who can work from home will continue to do so until at least June.

UK lockdown roadmap- Boris hails ‘one way road to freedom’ and vows ‘we will not go back’ to lockdown

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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