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UK unemployment rate rises in July despite lifting of lockdown

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The UK’s unemployment rate has risen over the three-month period through July. Despite the latest official data released on Tuesday, this period is the beginning of more relaxed regulation.

The headline unemployment rate from May to July rose to 4.1% from 3.9% in the last three-month period dealing with the beginning of UK blockade, which was initiated by the British Bureau of Statistics (ONS) at the end of March. said.

3298 million people aged 16 and older were employed between May and July, an increase of 202,000 from a year ago, but a decrease of 12,000 from the previous quarter. The annual increase was driven primarily by the employment of more women, ONS noted.

However, the quarterly figures show a different picture for men and women. The number of men employed increased by 22,000, while the number of women employed decreased by 34,000.

ONS, in a brighter light of the UK’s employment situation, said that “a significant decline in employment of older workers (ages 16 to 24 and over 65) resulted in less quarterly employment declines.” , Self-employed and part-time workers are almost completely offset by increased employment of workers aged 25 to 64 and full-time workers. “

This data shows that from March to May, employment in the UK saw the largest decline in the quarter over a decade, according to figures released last month. This data covered the height of the blockade, which began on March 23, and only essential stores were opened. Some restrictions were eased in May, and then non-essential shops could be reopened in mid-June. Movie theaters, restaurants, and bars can be opened in early July, allowing more staff from the UK’s hospitality sector to return to work.

However, Tuesday’s data will not show the real extent of job losses due to coronavirus due to the UK government’s “perfect” plan to subsidize workers’ wages to prevent employers from cutting jobs. Under this system, the government paid up to 80% of workers’ salary up to 2,500 ($3,272), but the system is expected to end by October 31st. From August, enterprises are obliged to pay wages for depleted employees.

British Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak in a statement about recent data: “This is a difficult time for many, as the pandemic continues to have a serious impact on people’s jobs and livelihoods. That’s why it helps me get the job done. It continues to be my top priority.”

Meanwhile, Capital Economy’s British economist Paul Dales said, “I think the first step towards solving a breakdown plan hasn’t led to a surge in unemployment, but it’s a matter of time before it happens.”

“I still think that as the employment system continues to ease and cease at the end of October, employment will decline more rapidly and the unemployment rate will rise faster,” he said.

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