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Gloucestershire Business News

UK loses over 800,000 jobs since start of pandemic

There were 819,000 fewer workers on UK company payrolls in November than before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest figures.

The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that hospitality is the worst hit sector, accounting for a third of the job losses, followed by retail, as reported by the BBC.

The unemployment rate rose to 4.9 per cent in the three months to October, with the jobless total up to 1.7 million.

Unemployment in Gloucestershire remained just below the national rate, at 4.6 per cent, with a further 325 jobs lost between October and November.

Hospitality has been hit particularly hard by coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, with large number of workers losing their jobs. Thousands of bars and restaurants in tier 3 remain closed, with more to set to close as London enters tier 3 tomorrow (Wednesday 16th December).

Industry body UK Hospitality has criticised the move to close pubs, bars and restaurants in London and other areas in tier 3, because it says the spread of the virus is being driven mainly through schools.

Matthew Percival, CBI director of people and skills, said: "Another bleak set of figures this month, with a steep rise in unemployment and more redundancies showing households were still being hit hard, even ahead of England's second national lockdown.

"While news of a vaccine has provided hope, many firms are still finding it difficult to operate within the toughest Covid restrictions.

"With millions more expected to be living under the toughest tier before the end of the week, the government must continue to do what it can to help businesses get through winter."

Many companies cut jobs in October, in anticipation of the end of the furlough scheme, which was originally meant to end on 31st October. The scheme has now been extended until March.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "We've provided over £280bn of support, including protecting over nine million jobs with the furlough scheme and supporting millions of businesses to keep going with our loans, grants and tax cuts.

"But we know that, sadly, many people are already facing unemployment. That's why our Plan for Jobs is also helping to create new jobs, including through our £2bn Kickstart scheme and expanded apprenticeships and traineeships."

If you are unemployed in Gloucestershire, go to https://www.skillsportalglos.com  for support and guidance.

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