UK unemployment rises to 5.1% as Covid lockdown freezes economy

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Government’s furlough scheme prevents higher increase in joblessness in December

Unemployment edged higher to 5.1% in December as the government’s furlough scheme continued to prevent a steep rise in job losses in the run-up to Christmas. With much of economy still in enforced hibernation, the unemployment rate in the three months to December increased from 5% in November and was up by 1.5 percentage points from a year earlier according to the Office for National Statistics.
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