The British economy today announced its highest unemployment rate in nearly five years during the three months to November, at a time when Coronavirus cases increased for the second time, with most of the country returning to partial closure.
The unemployment rate in Britain rose by 5% in the three months to November, and the previous reading was up by 4.9%, while expectations indicated a rise of 5.1%. On the other hand, the employment rate decreased by 88,000 in October from a previous decline of 144,000, and expectations were for a decrease of 160,000.
The change in jobless claims in December reached 7,000 from the previous reading of 38, 100 thousand and expectations were at 47,500, while average wages without bonuses in November rose by 3.6% from 2.8% and expectations at 3%.
There were some signs of a limited recovery in December, when lockdown measures eased, although there is likely to be a deterioration in early 2021, with tougher school closures and most non-essential businesses closing to the public.
It is worth noting that the unemployment rate decreased due to the government job-retention plan, which supported 2.4 million jobs until October 31, bringing unemployment down from a peak of 8.9 million in May.
The government program is Britain's largest economic support measure due to the emerging coronavirus, and has cost 46.4 billion pounds ($63 billion) as of mid-December, and is due to end on April 30.
The British pound fell for the third session in a row, and hit its lowest level today against the US dollar at 1.3608, after it opened trading today at 1.3672, and is currently trading at 1.3654.