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Gloucestershire Business News

Hospitality and manufacturing bear brunt of jobless rise

The jobless rate in the UK rose slightly to five per cent in the three months to November as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hit the job market.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics saw the rate rose from 4.9 per cent as unemployment numbers hit 1.72 million people - the highest for five years.

And it is 418,000 higher than at the same period 12 months before which is the largest increase for 11 years.

Hospitality and manufacturing both saw unemployment figures rise by more than 50,000 over the year.

And workers aged 25-34 were hit hard with a jobless rate of 16.2 per 1,000 representing a fivefold increase over 12 months.

There were 28.2 million employees on payrolls in December, down by 828,000 from pre-pandemic levels in February.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "This crisis has gone on far longer than any of us hoped - and every job lost as a result is a tragedy.

"While the NHS is working hard to protect people with the vaccine, we're throwing everything we've got at supporting businesses, individuals and families.

"Our Plan for Jobs includes grants and loans so that firms can keep employees on, the furlough scheme to help protect jobs, and programmes like Kickstart alongside record investment in skills so that people can find their first job, their next job or a new job if needed."

There was a glimmer of good news with 81,000 new vacancies over the three-month period, but CBI director of people and skills Matthew Percival said government help needs to be extended.

He said: "Unemployment rising to five per cent and continued high redundancies show the difficult decisions businesses face.

"The prospect of extending lockdown makes it urgent that the Chancellor acts now to extend job and business support.

"The Job Retention Scheme needs to run to at least the end of June to avoid a cliff edge."

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