New reports have revealed that the UK witnessed a record increase of five percent in its unemployment rate during the pandemic in 2020.
According to Reuters, the United Kingdom’s unemployment rate rose to five percent during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. And it mostly happened at the time of constant lockdown in the country, moving up to November. The jobless rate, however, was the highest since 2016.
Unfortunately, the UK is once again under lockdown due to rising cases of the new strain of Coronavirus.
Crisis: Growing unemployment amid a pandemic
Another set of data released by the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of people on company payroll was less in December. When compared to a similar period a year before, it’s a major reduction of 2.7 percent. In other words, 828,000 people lost their jobs at the end of 2020 compared to the year’s beginning in February.
The government tried to keep the unemployment rate down through the Job Retention Scheme. It supported 2.4 million jobs as of Oct. 31. However, the figure is meager since, in May 2020, the scheme supported almost 9 million jobs. This program is also Britain’s one of the most expensive COVID-19 measures to improve a weakened economy. It cost around 46.4 billion pounds ($63 billion) up to mid-December, due to end in April 2021.
To deal with the growing unemployment rate, finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce new measures at his annual budget in March.
“This crisis has gone on far longer than any of us hoped – and every job lost as a result is a tragedy,” said Mr. Sunak on Tuesday.
He also said that the National Health Service (NHS) is constantly working hard to protect the citizens. And that people in the finance ministry are doing everything to support families and businesses.
Britain imposed a new round of lockdown earlier this month, on January 5 following the increasing death toll. In the entire continent, the United Kingdom has so far registered the highest number of deaths, almost reaching 100,000.
Impact of COVID-19 on the world economy
Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic’s inevitable phase, the entire world has gone through a big halt. Not just health care services, the economic growth has also suffered uncontrollably. Along with the alarming death toll, an increasing unemployment rate is not a great sign either. United States of America and India are also dealing with a vast number of jobless people.
Despite the introduction of several vaccines, there seems to be no control on the spread of COVID-19, especially after discovering its new variant. The UK was among those countries to witness the mutating strain of the virus at the end of 2020. Since then, it has kept spreading in the rest of the nations due to airlines traveling from Britain to many international destinations.
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