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UK Unemployment Dips As Economy Reopens

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Britain’s unemployment rate dipped in the second quarter on reopening of the economy that has resulted in record-high vacancies, official data showed Tuesday.

While the number of payroll employees has surged, it remains below the pre-pandemic total, the Office for National Statistics added.

The unemployment rate eased to 4.7 percent in the second quarter from 4.8 percent in the three months to the end of May, the ONS said in a statement.

“The world of work continues to rebound robustly from the effects of the pandemic,” said ONS statistician Jonathan Athow.

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But he added that “early survey figures show the number of job vacancies passed one million for the first time ever in July”.
The data comes ahead of the UK government next month ending its furlough scheme that has paid the bulk of wages for millions of Britons during the outbreak.

“I know there could still be bumps in the road but the (latest unemployment) data is promising,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said in a separate statement.
Athow added that the number of people on payroll remains around 200,000 below pre-pandemic levels.

Official data last week showed Britain’s economy rebounded 4.8 percent in the second quarter as the government began relaxing lockdown restrictions amid its fast-paced vaccination programme.

Credit: AFP

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