Unemployment rate rises to 4.1% in July

The rate of unemployment in the UK increased 0.2% to 4.1% in the two months to July 2020, according to the ONS.

The UK economic inactivity rate was also estimated at a joint record low of 20.2%, 0.6 percentage points lower than the previous year and 0.3 percentage points lower than the previous quarter.

The new data also revealed that after a record low estimated number of vacancies in April to June 2020, vacancies have continued to increase and are almost 30% higher in June to August 2020 at 434,000.

The ONS said the arts, entertainment and recreation was the sector that has “struggled the most” during the coronavirus pandemic, and has the lowest vacancies per 100 employee jobs ratio of 0.5.

Additionally, the estimated number of jobs had been generally increasing since 2013, but fell by 354,000 to 35.41 million jobs in the UK from March to June 2020 – the largest fall since September 1992.

The ONS said: “Though still large, the reductions in total hours worked both on the year and the quarter are smaller than last month, with the May to July period covering a time when some of the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown measures started to be eased.

“The total number of weekly hours worked was 866.0 million, down 183.8 million hours on the previous year and down 93.9 million hours on the previous quarter.”

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