The UK unemployment rate rose for a six straight month in December as renewed coronavirus restrictions shut down most businesses across the country.
The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that unemployment rose to 5.1 per cent in December, up 0.1 per cent from the previous month and 1.3 per cent from a year earlier.
The number of people on company payrolls has dropped by 726,000 since the pandemic began last February, with 58.5 per cent of the decline coming among people under 25.
The figures don't show the full impact of COVID-19 restrictions on employment because some 1.9 million workers remain on furlough. A government program covers 80% of their wages.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced plans to slowly end a national lockdown in England in hopes of safely reopening the economy and social life as infection rates drop and widespread vaccinations reduce the threat from COVID-19.
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