UK Unemployment Rate Hits Highest Figure Since 2016

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The United Kingdom's unemployment rate recorded its highest mark since October 2016 amid the pandemic.

The United Kingdom's unemployment rate recorded its highest mark since October 2016 amid the pandemic, according to MarketsInsider.

Data released by the Office of National Statistics revealed that individuals searching for jobs increased by 241,000 from August to October. This brings the nation's unemployment rate to 4.9 percent. Prior to this data, the unemployment rate was at 4.8 percent and could reflect how businesses have reacted to a massive surge in COVID-19 cases globally.

This data does not include the effects of the full lockdown in November and the newly implemented restrictions enforced by the government. The number of individuals seeking unemployment benefits rose to 2.7 million. Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, believes that the unemployment rate will peak at 6.5 percent next year when the country leaves the EU market.

The vaccine could help reinvigorate the job market in the UK. "For now however, the statistics paint a stark picture and unemployment is still likely to spike when the scheme finally comes to an end," according to Tom Pickersgill, CEO and co-founder of Orka Technology Group.

A majority of the UK will be subject to the lockdown rules. Researchers found a new strain of COVID-19 that was contributing to the surge in cases. Restaurants and pubs are only available for takeout and delivery while indoor entertainment venues will be restricted from opening.

Britain has one of the worst COVID-19 death rates in the world.

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