Next week’s numbers will show that the pandemic is having unequal effects in the UK.
Tuesday’s figures are likely to show that unemployment rose again between September and November, to around 1.8m or 5 per cent of the workforce, the highest rate since early 2016. There are a further 2m outside the workforce who want a job. And many of those who have kept their jobs are on shorter hours: aggregate hours worked are some 10 per cent below their pre-pandemic level.
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