The United Kingdom opened 2021 with less jobless people as more employees returned to work with government support, the Office for National Statistics reported.
- The unemployment rate stood at 4.8% in the first quarter, 0.3 percentage points lower than the last quarter of 2020.
- The latest print is 0.8 percentage points higher than the previous year.
- The unemployment rate takes into consideration individuals looking for work who are unable to find such opportunities.
- ONS Director of Economic Statistics Darren Morgan attributed the quarter-on-quarter drop to the reimposition of lockdowns in January, as there were more individuals who were no longer looking for employment.
- The employment rate gained 0.2 percentage points to 75.2% to mark the first increase since December 2019 to February 2020.
- Payrolls increased for the fifth consecutive month in April, but remained 772,000 below pre-pandemic levels.
- The biggest declines in payrolls were recorded in the hospitality sector particularly for those aged 25 years and under, and London residents.