Unemployment: 33,000 workers lost job before second lockdown

ITV News Correspondent Martha Fairlie has more on the latest figures

The latest unemployment figures show the impact of the Covid pandemic, with more than 33,000 people dropped from payrolls at UK employers.

The job losses push the unemployment rate to 4.8% - up nearly one percentage point (0.9) on the same point a year earlier, according to official estimates.

The Office for National Statistics revealed a dramatic 782,000 drop in payrolled employment from March to October.

Redundancies too felt the force of the crisis, with more people made redundant between July and September than at any point on record.

Around 314,000 redundancies were registered during the three months up to September, up by 181,000 from the quarter before.

ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said: "Unemployment grew sharply in the three months to September, with many of those who lost their jobs earlier in the pandemic beginning to look for work again.

"The number of redundancies has also reached a record high.

"Vacancies continued to recover from the very low numbers seen earlier in the year. However, these figures predate the reintroduction of restrictions in many parts of the UK."

Since the figures were taken, several parts of the UK have re-entered various stages of lockdown, including a second national lockdown in England.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set aside millions in support for those struggling due to coronavirus. Credit: HMT

The government has since extended its furlough scheme until March next year, ensuring that employees who cannot work will get up to 80% of their salaries.

Suren Thiru, the head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "The extension to the furlough scheme will safeguard a significant number of jobs in the near term."

But he warned: "With firms facing another wave of severely diminished cashflow and revenue and with gaps in government support persisting, further substantial rises in unemployment remain likely in the coming months."