The National Statistics Office (ONS) stresses that 18 to 24 year olds are those most affected by job losses since the start of the pandemic.
The unemployment rate in the United Kingdom rose to 5.1% in the three months ended at the end of December against 5.0% at the end of November because of the virus, according to figures released Tuesday by the National Statistics Office (ONS ). This is 1.3 percentage points more than a year earlier when the economic impact of the pandemic had yet to be felt.
Since February 2020, the last month before the first containment to fight the epidemic, the number of registered employees has plunged by 726,000, “but most of this fall took place at the start of the coronavirus pandemic”, specifies the ONS.
Fewer job offers
The statistics institute points out that the 18 to 24 year olds are those who have suffered the most from job losses since the start of the pandemic. In particular, severe cuts have taken place in sectors which employ a lot of young people and particularly affected by the restrictions, such as restaurants, entertainment, hotels and retail.
The number of job vacancies observed between November and January fell by 26% to 559,000 compared to a year earlier: if this indicates an improvement compared to this summer when these vacancies had plunged by 60%, the rate of The improvement has slowed in recent months, notably because of new restrictions at the end of December and the strict re-containment in England in January. Finally, the number of people receiving aid for the unemployed or low income increased to 2.6 million people in January, signifying that precariousness and poverty are increasing in the country.
A “peak” at the end of the year
Analysts found these figures encouraging. “The rise in the unemployment rate (…) is a further step towards the peak of 6.5% that we expect at the end of the year (2021) but with the end of the restrictions linked to covid-19 now in sight, this rate could have returned to 4% in 2023 ”, ie close to the historic lows where it was before the pandemic, estimates the research house Capital Economics.
The British government in particular unveiled Monday its plan to reopen different parts of the economy, in particular thanks to the rapid progress of the vaccination campaign. “The increase in the number of employees receiving wages in January shows that the labor market has stopped deteriorating, thanks to the recent increase in the government’s employment support system in the face of the coronavirus, which has been extended to at the end of April ”, adds Samuel Tombs, economist at Pantheon Macro.
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