London unemployment highest in UK as capital struggles post-pandemic

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ondonstruggle to overcome covid-19 global pandemic And the lockdown has been laid bare with official figures showing it had the highest unemployment rate UK this summer.

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For the three months ending August 2021, the highest unemployment rate in the country was estimated at 5.8 per cent in London, and the lowest at 3.4 per cent in the South West. national statistics office.

The North East saw the biggest change in the unemployment rate, with a decrease of 1.3 percentage points over the previous year.

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In September 2021, only London and Scotland had workers with fewer payrolls than before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the ONS found.

It said London is farthest behind its pre-pandemic levels, but saw the biggest increase between August and September 2021.

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The number of job vacancies in September was a record high of around 1.2 million.

For the three months of July to September 2021, job vacancies were also at a record high of 1,102,000, an increase of 318,000 from its pre-pandemic (January to March 2020) level.

This was the second consecutive month that the three-month average has increased by more than a million.

All industry sectors were above or equal to their January to March 2020 pre-pandemic levels in July to September 2021, with housing and food service activities growing the most by 50,000 (59 per cent), highlighting the hardships faced by many restaurants and hotels. to be done. London is facing staff recruitment.

Darren Morgan, director of economic data at ONS, said: “As the jobs market continues to recover from the impact of the coronavirus, the number of employees on the payroll in September now exceeds pre-pandemic levels.

“Vacancy also hit a new one-month record of around 1.2 million in September, with our latest estimates showing that all industries now have at least as many jobs as they did before the onset of COVID-19.

“Even after taking inflation into account, the latest earnings continue to show growth on the year.

“However, the figures are still being influenced by particular factors that make it difficult to read the underlying trends.”

Yale Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK, said: “The recovery is testing the ability of the economy to adjust to a new post-pandemic environment, a task made more difficult by the low availability of foreign workers.

“The termination of last month’s furlough scheme could push up the briefly headline unemployment rate, which averages 4.9 percent for 2021, representing a smaller effect than originally expected.

“In August, the headline unemployment rate continued to decline, to 4.5 percent in today’s figures, while acute skills shortages pushed vacancies to record levels for the second month in a row in September, as employers struggle to find skilled workers. were.”

The Office for National Statistics said the number of UK workers on the payroll rose by 207,000 between August and September to a record 29.2 million, returning to levels seen before the pandemic.

For the 12 months ending June 2021, average weekly hours varied between London, with 31.9 hours worked, and the North East, 29.3 hours worked; All regions except Northern Ireland showed an increase in average weekly hours worked compared to the same period last year, which remained unchanged.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “As we move into the next phase of our support, it is encouraging to see our plan for jobs working – the number of redundancies expected in September has been much lower, with pay-rolls on the rise than ever before. There are more workers and the unemployment rate has been falling for 8 consecutive months.

“We are committed to helping people find great work, with an additional £500m to help support hundreds of thousands of people in employment and the lowest paid to progress in their careers.”

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “Long-term unemployment remains persistent and the government’s plan for jobs has done nothing to ease supply shortages or prepare for the future.

“Families and businesses are facing energy crisis, shortage and price hike due to poor decisions and lack of planning by this government. And now working people are being hit by tax hikes and cuts in the Universal Credit.

Our country is facing a tough winter and people want government on their side and not the complacency and anarchy of conservatives.”

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