The government’s furlough scheme and a recovering economy failed to prevent record redundancies in the period before tougher lockdown restrictions were imposed, according to the latest official data.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that a record 314,000 people lost their job in the three months to September – a period in which the Treasury’s wage subsidy scheme became less generous.
The ONS said the 181,000 quarterly increase in redundancies was unprecedented and helped push up the UK unemployment rate from 4.1% to 4.8% between the second and third quarters of 2020. Between August and September, the unemployment rate jumped by 0.3 points.
Flash estimates of the state of the labour market in October suggested there was a further 33,000 drop in the number of employees on payrolls, leaving headcounts 782,000 lower than they were when the Covid-19 crisis began in March.