finance

Unemployment falls by 200,000 as Covid recovery continues


THE jobs market is continuing to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, new data shows.

The number of people in a job rose by 197,000 between April and May.

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Unemployment levels have fallen

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Unemployment levels have fallenCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.7% in the three months to April.

The unemployment rate was 4.8% in the three months to March, official jobs data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.

Unemployment surged to a five-year high of 5.1% in February, with the number of jobless Brits at 1.74million.

Sam Beckett, ONS head of economic statistics, said: “The number of employees on payroll grew strongly in May, up by almost 200,000, although it is still over half a million down since the pandemic struck.

“Job vacancies continued to recover in the spring, and our early estimates suggest that by May the total had surpassed its pre-pandemic level, with strong growth in sectors such as hospitality.

“Meanwhile the redundancy rate remains subdued, while the number of employees on furlough has continued to decline.”

Employment minister Mims Davies said there are “real signs of recovery in the labour market”.Ā 

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday pushed back the final stage of getting the country back on track after the pandemic.

The planned June 21 date for the last lockdown restrictions lifting has been delayed to July 19.

Rising cases of the Indian or Delta variant as it’s also known, have derailed the government’s roadmap at the last stage.

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The furlough job support scheme which has supported Brits unable to work because of the pandemic will continue to September as planned, with no extension.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our Plan for Jobs is working – the latest forecasts for unemployment are around half of what was previously feared and the number of employees on payroll is at its highest level since April last year.

“We understand the value of work and the distress caused by unemployment – that is why we are continuing to support people and jobs.

“The furlough scheme is running all the way through until September and we are creating new routes into work through apprenticeships, Kickstart placements for young people as well as targeted support for the long-term unemployed.”

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