The latest labor force statistics, which have just been released, show that the UK unemployment rate has climbed to 4,5% in the period June-August.
This is a big increase from 4.1% recorded a month ago, and appears to be the highest level since spring 2017.
According to the Office for National Statistics, there was about 1.52 million people unemployed in the June-August quarter. This is an increase of 209,000 for the year and 138,000 for the quarter.
The ONS explains:
The annual increase was the largest since September to November 2011 and the quarterly increase was the largest since May to July 2009.
- the unemployment rate for males in the UK was estimated at 4.9%; this is 0.8 percentage point higher than a year earlier and 0.7 percentage point higher than the previous quarter
- the unemployment rate for women in the UK was estimated at 4.0%; this is 0.3 percentage point higher than a year earlier and 0.1 percentage point higher than the previous quarter
The increase shows that after months of lockdown restrictions, some businesses have been forced to let their staff go over the summer – or have collapsed completely.
Worryingly, this is happening before the government ends the leave program. August, you may remember, was Eat Out To Help Out month, when the government subsidized meals in pubs, restaurants and cafes to support the economy …
The ONS also reports that the Number of claimants, which measures the number of people receiving unemployment assistance, has jumped 120.3% since March 2020.
the employment rate fell, down 0.3 percentage point for the quarter, to 75.6%. And layoffs increased from a record 114,000 in the quarter.
More details and reaction to follow….
Also coming today
The International Monetary Fund releases its new economic forecast as its annual meeting begins. They are likely to show slight improvement, but continue to leave 2020 as the worst year in decades.
The ZEW institute publishes its latest economic confidence data for Germany and the euro area at large.
- 7am BST: US Labor Market Statistics
- 10 a.m. BST: ZEW Eurozone Economic Sentiment Index
- 1:30 p.m. BST: IMF publishes its latest World Economic Outlook