The Unemployment rate in the UK rose to 4.1% in the three months to July as the total number of people out of work rose by 62,000, the Office for National Statistics said
The jobless rate was up from 3.9% a month previously but is still yet to be fully representative of the economic crisis with the Treasury’s soon-to-end Job Retention scheme helping keep those rates of unemployment down.
Meanwhile, payroll data in the nation had shown that 695,000 fewer people were employed in the month of August compared to in March when the UK’s nation-wide lockdown was first put in place, though after revisions to earlier data that was a smaller number than before.
Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “Some effects of the pandemic on the labour market were beginning to unwind in July as parts of the economy reopened.”
This comes after people across the UK have been unable to get tests for COVID-19 because laboratories have reached a “critical pinch-point” in processing them. The director of COVID-19 testing at NHS Test and Trace, Sarah-Jane Marsh, has apologised for the unavailability of tests.
The number of people described as “temporarily away from work” – including those on furlough – fell in July though was still more than five million while other measures including average hours worker and job vacancies also improved.”
“Nonetheless, with the number of employees on the payroll down again in August and both unemployment and redundancies sharply up in July, it is clear that coronavirus is still having a big impact on the world of work,” Mr Morgan added.
The number of people in the UK in employment was 12,000 fewer in July than it was just three months earlier.
But for those people aged between 16 to 24 years, there was a decrease of 156,000, including a record decrease of 146,000 for those aged 18 to 24, with jobs for those aged 65 and over falling by 92,000.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This is a difficult time for many as the pandemic continues to have a profound impact on people’s jobs and livelihoods.”
“That’s why protecting jobs and helping people back into work continues to be my number one priority.”
This comes after An estimated 8.4 million people in the UK consumed “high-risk” amounts of alcohol throughout June, compared to around 4.8 million people four months previous. The number of people throughout the UK drinking at high-risk levels has almost doubled since just before the nation’s coronavirus lockdown, according to experts.
Rishi Sunak has pointed out the government’s Job Retention bonus, that is worth up to £9bn, which will reward those employers who take back workers temporarily laid-off under the government-backed furlough scheme.
But a number of Members of Parliament and business groups want the Treasury to consider extending the national furlough scheme in some form, fearing that if taxpayer subsidies for those positions end completely as planned next month, there will then be a further large surge in unemployment.