The UK unemployment rate has increased to 4.5%, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS announced the number of payroll employees dropped by 673,000 between March and September. However, the larger falls were seen at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the three months ended August, statistics reveal unemployment increased by 138,000 compared to the previous quarter.

This resulted in the unemployment rate rising to 4.5%, compared with 4.1% in the previous three months – the highest in over three years.

Overall employment is down 480,000 on the start of the year, with 16-24-year-olds accounting for 60% of this fall.

Nye Cominetti, senior economist at independent think tank the Resolution Foundation, said:

“The jobs market deteriorated significantly over the summer, with the biggest rise in unemployment in over a decade taking place even while the economy continued to open up.

“With economic support falling just as lockdown restrictions increase across the country, we should prepare for a major increase in unemployment over the coming months.”

Cominetti added:

“The Government should do more to limit this unemployment rise, including reducing employer contributions in the Job Support Scheme so that it supports firms to cut hours rather than jobs.”

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