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Gloucestershire Business News

Silver lining for Gloucestershire in unemployment figures

Unemployment across the UK rose to 4.8 per cent in the three months to September - but Gloucestershire saw a slight fall in the rate in October.

Figures from GFirst LEP said the rate of people claiming unemployment benefits dipped slightly last month to 4.7 per cent with around 1,000 fewer unemployed people.

And GFirst chief executive David Owen said job vacancies in the county edged up to 21,000 last month, 10 per cent down on October 2019 but an improvement on July and August.

National figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the rate of unemployment rose from 4.5 per cent across the third quarter of the year.

The rate was pushed up by a record 314,000 redundancies, largely driven by the scheduled end of the furlough scheme at the end of October which has now been extended to the end of March.

In all, the number of people out of work rose by 243,000 in the three months - the biggest quarterly increase since May 2009.

CBI director for people and skills Matthew Percival said: "These figures show a toxic mix of a devastating rise in redundancies and very few people able to find alternative jobs, even before entering a second national lockdown.

"The next couple of months will be crucial. The Government must use this time well to get ahead of the curve on the economy as well as the virus.

The creation of an economic recovery commission uniting government, business and unions would be a vital step, as would rollout of mass testing and investment in job-creating projects, with a focus on digital skills and green jobs."

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