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Gulf Today Report
Britain's unemployment rate fell by 5 per cent, maintaining a stance close to five-year highs on the fallout from coronavirus pandemic, according to official data.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the rate was in comparison with 5.1 per cent in the three months to the end of December.
"The UK unemployment rate, in the three months to January 2021, was estimated at 5 per cent, 1.1 percentage points higher than a year earlier," the ONS said.
The rate steadied due to the UK’s government effort to support residents by paying the bulk wages for millions of private-sector workers. However, unemployment is likely to increase once the support packages are stopped, said analysts.
"The stability of the unemployment rate at... 5.0 per cent in January highlights once again the extent to which the government's job furlough scheme has protected jobs during the pandemic," noted Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics research group.
Hopes that the British economy can rebound solidly have been boosted by the UK's rapid rollout of its vaccination programme.
As the unemployed count rises, jobs have become the main currency of political debate around the economy.
Britain’s unemployment rate rose by more than expected to 4.5% in the three months to August, its highest in more than three years, even before the end of the government’s broad coronavirus job protection plan.
Britain’s unemployment rate fell again to 4.8% between January and March, when the country was under a tight lockdown, and hiring rose further in April, according to data that showed employers gearing up for the easing of curbs.
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