UK unemployment reaches four-year high in Covid-19 lockdown

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Jobless rate rose to 5%, or 1.7 million people, in three months to the end of November

Unemployment in the UK has reached the highest level for more than four years as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and tougher lockdown measures place more pressure on businesses and workers.

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The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate rose to 5% in the three months to the end of November – representing more than 1.7 million people – from 4.9% in the three months to the end of October, reaching the highest level since August 2016. Unemployment was 4% in February before the pandemic struck.

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