UK jobs market moves fast as Covid-19 policies launch and unravel

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Analysis: The unemployment rate hit a four-year high in the autumn and there is a risk it could go higher

These are fast-moving times. The latest official unemployment figures tell us what was happening to the UK labour market in the autumn and they already have a historical feel about them. Since the jobless rate hit a four-year high of 5%, restrictions on the economy have been loosened and then reimposed even more stringently. A mass vaccination programme has got under way.

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Even so, there are four key messages from the unemployment statistics.

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