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UK Employment Figures, November 2020: Job Losses Mounting

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Redundancies continue to rise but furlough scheme continues to limit the damage.

Headline indicators continue to mask the underlying state of the labour market, which continues to be heavily supported by the furlough scheme. The unemployment rate inched up but remained relatively low at 4.9% in the three months to the end of October, though the single-month rate rose to 5.2%. 

During the same quarter, redundancies hit a record high of 370,000. Though the pace slowed in October, we’ve since had grim news from the high street, with the demise of some major retailers putting tens of thousands more jobs at risk.  

Vacancies have been recovering but remain 37% down on last year. With millions of people once again living under the strictest tier of COVID-19 restrictions and the wider economy slowing, the labour market is undoubtedly in for a tough winter. The big question is what state the economy is in by spring, the hope being that an improving health situation will facilitate a recovery strong enough to mitigate the roll-off of furlough at the end of March.