Unemployment in the UK rose in late 2020 when the country returned from a deadly second wave of the coronavirus.
Companies added jobs in January, however, and the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits fell. All the data suggest that the labor market is still weak, but not as sick as it was at the height of the pandemic last spring.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday outlined plans for a gradual reopening of the economy over the spring and summer months as Covid-19 case worries fall and vaccines rise. Employer groups are urging the government to expand Covid-19-related support programs for companies and jobs due to expire in April.
The Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday the unemployment rate rose to 5.1% in the last quarter of the year, up from 5% in the three months to November. The number of people in work fell and the number of people in the labor market rose.
In January, data show that the number of jobs on company payments increased, to 28.3 million. That is the second month – on – month increase, but the number of paid workers was 726,000 less than in February 2020, before the pandemic struck.
Write to Jason Douglas at jaso[email protected]