The news agency Reuters reports that:
British employers laid off a record number of staff in the third quarter of 2020 and the jobless rate jumped as the labour market weakened before finance minister Rishi Sunak made a U-turn on COVID support measures.
314,000 British workers were made redundant during the three months to September. That is 181,000 more than in the second quarter three months before that.
The UK unemployment rate is now at 4.8%, the highest since the 2016.
Many people have criticised the UK's second lockdown, calling it ill conceived and damaging and recently the UK governments own statistics watchdog stated that the data on which the decision to impose the lockdown was both incorrect and out of date.
Henry Bolton of the Think Tank Boudicca Policy said:
What these latest employment figures show is that we've been right all along, the Covid Lockdown is seriously harming our economy and optimism as a nation, just as we need to be fighting fit to launch into the world at the end of the Brexit transition. I also suspect that, in time, we shall see that there's been a much broader and more serious healthcare impact as well. The government has got this seriously. wrong.
Last week, UK Chancellor (treasury Minister) Sunak was forced to extend his costly coronavirus furlough scheme, which provides 80% of the pay of temporarily laid-off workers, until the end of March, and he outlined billions of pounds in other forms of help. This was welcomed by businesses, however many are going to find it difficult to recover. The leisure sector: pubs, bars, restaurants and cafe's, have bee particularly badly hit.