The UK unemployment rate has surged to its highest level in over three years as the pandemic continues to hit jobs.
The unemployment rate grew to 4.5% in the three months to August, compared with 4.1% previously.
An estimated 1.5 million people were unemployed in the period, 209,000 more than a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
It comes as the government prepares to impose tough local lockdown rules that will force some businesses to close.
Jonathan Athow, the ONS’s deputy national statistician for economic statistics, said: “In the latest period almost half a million fewer people were in work than just before the pandemic, while almost 200,000 others said they were employed but were currently not working nor earning any money.
“Since the start of the pandemic there has been a sharp increase in those out of work and job hunting but more people telling us they are not actively looking for work.
“There has also been a stark rise in the number of people who have recently been made redundant.”
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