January 29, 2021
“The U.K. labor market proved more resilient than expected in the three months to November as an extension of government aid helped protect jobs amid a widespread lockdown,” Bloomberg stated. However, U.K. Office of National Statistics reported that, U.K employment rate for all ages 16 to 64 for the three months ending November 2020 stood at 75.2% (2019: 78.4%), 1.1 percentage points lower than a year earlier and 0.4 percentage points lower than the previous quarter. U.K noted that, “Estimates for September to November 2020 show 32.50 million people aged 16 years and over in employment, 398,000 fewer than a year earlier. This was the largest annual decrease since December 2009 to February 2010. Employment decreased by 88,000 on the quarter.”
During same period unemployment rate went up 5.0%, 0.6 percentage point higher than the previous quarter and 1.2 percentage point higher than the previous year. Office of National Statistics stated, “For September to November 2020, an estimated 1.72 million people were unemployed, up 418,000 on the same period the previous year and up 202,000 on the quarter.” Furthermore, the estimated UK unemployment rate for men was 5.4%; this is 1.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.5 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.
Also, the estimated UK unemployment rate for women was 4.7%; this is 1.1 percentage points higher than a year earlier and a record 0.7 percentage points higher than the previous quarter. Karen Wad, chief market strategist at JPMorgan in London was quoted on Bloomberg say, “The furlough scheme has been the central tenet of the government’s economic response to Covid-19 and has worked well.” Furthermore, “The spike may have been more pronounced but for an eleventh hour extension of the government’s furlough plan, announced alongside details of November’s lockdown on Oct. 31. That support, which helped protect almost 10 million jobs in 2020, has been vital to the U.K. labor market’s performance during the crisis, with the unemployment rate only climbing by around 1 percentage point even as the economy saw its worst recession in three centuries,” as per Bloomberg.
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