UK redundancies hit record high as job market slumps in third quarter

British employers laid off a record number of staff in the third quarter and the jobless rate jumped as the labour market weakened.

A record 314,000 British workers were made redundant in the three months to September, 181,000 more than in the second quarter, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

The unemployment rate rose to 4.8%, the highest rate since the three months to November 2016, from 4.5% in the three months to August, as expected in a Reuters poll of economists.

While the public and investors were cheered on Monday by news that an experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective in trials, the ONS data showed hard months lie ahead for many Britons.

The BoE expects around 5.5 million employees will need furlough support during an England-wide lockdown this month, up from just over 2 million in October.

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