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Gloucestershire Business News

Unemployment hits three year high

More than 1.5 million people were unemployed by the end of August, the highest number since early 2017, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The most recent data for the county is for June 2020, which shows that overall there were 10,000 over 16s in Gloucestershire unemployed, or 2.8 per cent of the working population. The highest rate of unemployment for the county was in Gloucester at 3.8 per cent, with the lowest rate of 2.1 per cent in the Cotswold district. Cheltenham's unemployment rate was 2.7 per cent, it was three per cent for the Forest, 2.4 per cent for Stroud and 2.6 per cent for Tewkesbury.

Nationally, the jobless rate climbed to 4.5 per cent in the three months to August - an increase of 138,000 to 1.52 million. There were 227,000 redundancies during the same period, the highest level since the financial crisis in 2009 and twice as many as in the same three months of last year, as reported by Sky.

Unemployment was highest at 6.6 per cent in the North East, while it was 5.3 per cent in London and 4.1 per cent in the South East.

The figures showed there were almost 200,000 people who "said they were employed but were currently not working nor earning any money".

It's thought there will be a steep rise in the figures when the government's furlough scheme comes to an end at the end of this month.

The furlough scheme will be replaced by separate schemes - one paying two-thirds of wages of employees at businesses forced to close by restrictions and another topping up pay by a smaller amount for workers doing reduced hours.

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