UK Unemployment Rises for 6th Consecutive Month

In this handout photo provided by 10 Downing Street, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks during a media briefing on coronavirus in Downing Street, London, Monday April 20, 2020. (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street via AP)
AP IMAGES

LONDON (AP) – The U.K. unemployment rate rose for a six straight month in December as renewed coronavirus restrictions shut down most businesses across the country.

The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that unemployment rose to 5.1% in December, up 0.1% from the previous month and 1.3% from a year earlier. The number of people on company payrolls has dropped by 726,000 since the pandemic began last February, with 58.5% of the decline coming among people under 25.

The figures don´t show the full impact of COVID-19 restrictions on employment because some 1.9 million workers remain on furlough. A government program covers 80% of their wages.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced plans to slowly end a national lockdown in England in hopes of safely reopening the economy and social life as infection rates drop and widespread vaccinations reduce the threat from COVID-19.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.