THE number of Brits without a job hit 1.7million in January with 11,000 more losing work as the UK entered a third national lockdown.
Overall, the unemployment rate was at 5%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), slightly lower than the 5.2% economists had expected.
A year on since the start of the first lockdown, 693,000 workers are out of a job due to the impact of the pandemic.
The total unemployment figure is up 360,000 on the same period – between November and January – last year, before the coronavirus crisis hit the economy.
Overall, the rate is 1.1% higher than the previous year, and up 0.1% on the previous three months.
For men, the unemployment rate hit 5.2%, while for women it reached 4.7%, both up 1.1% on 2020.
During the three months the data represents, parts of England were shut down under the Tier system, while others were placed under tough restrictions.
Scotland and Wales were also under their own national lockdown rules to stop the spread of a infectious new variant of Covid-19.
By January, all three nations were in a full lockdown, with businesses including pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail told to temporarily close.
Positively, there were 68,000 more registered on the payroll in February compared to January, showing signs that economy is heading in the right direction.
More to follow…
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