Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
Britain's unemployment rate jumped above four per cent in July on economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed on Tuesday.
The rate grew to 4.1 per cent in the three months to the end of July from 3.9 per cent the previous quarter, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.
The number of people claiming jobless benefits stood at 2.7 million in August, up almost 121 per cent since March when Britain went into lockdown over the virus, the ONS said.
It added that 695,000 workers have been removed from UK payrolls since March.
"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," noted ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan.
Analysts expect the situation to worsen in the coming months as the government in October ends its furlough scheme that has been paying the bulk of wages for around ten million workers.
"Employment will fall more sharply and unemployment will increase more quickly as the furlough scheme continues to unwind and ceases at the end of October," Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics research group said following Tuesday's data.
The huge drop in jobs is being partially offset by the food sector employing thousands of workers as Covid-19 pushes people to increasingly shop online.
US group Domino's Pizza has announced it is creating 5,000 jobs, while the biggest recruitment drive has come from supermarket giant Tesco, which is adding 16,000.
"Some effects of the pandemic on the labour market were beginning to unwind in July as parts of the economy reopened," added Morgan at the ONS.
"Fewer workers were away on furlough and average hours rose. The number of job vacancies continued to recover into August, too."
Britain’s high street faces more than 5,000 job cuts after two of its biggest names said that customers were unlikely to return to their old shopping habits after the coronavirus crisis, in the latest blow to the country’s ailing economy.
The number of people in work in Britain has suffered the biggest drop since 2009 and signs are growing that the coronavirus will take a heavier toll on the labour market as the government winds down its huge job-protection scheme.
Marks & Spencer (M&S) will cut a further 7,000 jobs, it said on Tuesday, as the COVID-19 crisis deals another blow to Britain’s beleaguered retail sector.
US job growth rebounded strongly in June, with government payrolls surging, but persistent moderate wage gains and mounting evidence the economy was losing momentum could still encourage the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this month.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.1% lower at 11,504.95, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which has fewer pharma components, ended down 0.34% at 38,845.82.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat, while travel and leisure stocks shed the most among sectors with a 2.4% fall.
The dollar gave up gains made after the Federal Reserve upgraded its 2020 economic forecast this week to trade in negative territory on Thursday. It was last quoted at 92.923 against a basket of major currencies, on track for a 0.3% weekly loss.
Retail sales volumes rose by 0.8% in August, the Office for National Statistics said - slightly above the average 0.7% forecast in a Reuters poll - and, compared with a year earlier, they were up 2.8%, just below forecasts of 3.0% annual growth.