Around 695,000 UK jobs lost in first five months of pandemic

Around 695,000 UK workers have been removed from the payrolls of British companies since March when the coronavirus lockdown began, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate of unemployment increased as another 36,000 jobs fell off payrolls across the country.

Meanwhile, unemployment increased by 62,000 to 1.4 million for the three months to July.

It said the rate of unemployment therefore increased to 4.1%, in line with analyst expectations.

This was the first time the jobless rate has increased since the pandemic spread across the UK.

Companies have continued to announce redundancy programmes through the pandemic, with London City Airport the latest to reveal cuts as it announced 239 jobs losses on Monday.

The ONS said the increase in unemployment has particularly impacted young people, as it revealed a 76,000 rise in the number of unemployed people aged between 16 and 24 over the past year.

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Pictures of the week: September 13 - 19
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Pictures of the week: September 13 - 19
Sam Milford and father Chris, 72, from historic building conservation specialists WallWalkers, reinstall the weathercock at the top of Norwich Cathedral spire after it was re-gilded as part of the restoration work on the spire which stands at over 312ft high. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Comedian and writer Dawn French (front left) and singer Beverley Knight (front centre), join (L-R) actor Anna Jane Casey, theatre director Caroline Jay Ranger, theatre owner Nica Burns, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra soloist Melanie Marshall outside the Lyric Theatre, central London, to make a two minute silent stand to raise further awareness of the need to reopen theatres across the UK without social distancing as soon as possible.
Piers Corbyn crosses the road in Westminster holding placards under his arm. Outspoken activist Piers Corbyn - brother of former labour Leader Jeremy Bernard Corbyn was seen campaigning opposite Downing Street, speaking to a crowd about his Covid-19 Conspiracy theory. He arrived in Westminster with several campaign placards after which he met with fellow activists in Whitehall. The astrophysicist has been addressing crowds throughout lockdown alleging Covid-19 outbreak was designed to control population. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A student help point is set up behind a screen at UCL (University College London) in London, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. In the UK, most universities do not begin their fall terms until late September or early October, and are readying big changes. At University College London, only a quarter of the buildings will be occupied at one time. Teaching spaces will incorporate social distancing and everyone must wear face-masks. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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Thousands of new colorful lanterns seen in London�s Chinatown which have replaced the traditional red ones during the campaign. The #LoveChinatown campaign is a joint venture between Chinatown London and London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA), as the vivid lanterns have been put up in the streets of Chinatown to welcome back visitors after the covid-19 pandemic and to show support for the people and businesses that live and work in the community. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A volunteer helps with the annual lavender prune at the National Trust's Ham House in Richmond, Surrey. (Photo by Luciana Guerra/PA Images via Getty Images)
Hull's players embrace as they wait for a penalty during the English League Cup soccer match between Leeds United and Hull in Leeds, England, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Oli Scarf/Pool via AP)
People enjoying the warm weather on Bournemouth beach at the start of a week in which the UK is expected to bask in temperatures of more than 30C.
Two people enjoying the sunny weather at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire, at the start of a week in which the UK is expected to bask in temperatures of more than 30C.
A young woman takes a picture whilst feeding a parakeet from her hand as she enjoys the autumn sunshine in St James's Park London, at the start of a week in which the UK is expected to bask in temperatures of more than 30C.
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: An engineer abseils from Lambeth Bridge as he works on the lighting system for the "Illuminated River" public art commission that will eventually see 14 bridges on the river Thames lit up at night, on September 17, 2020 in London, England. A number of London's bridges have recently either needed emergency repairs, or have been closed to the public entirely due to fears that they are structurally unsafe. In late August, Tower Bridge was closed for 48 hours after it suffered "technical issues" resulting in the iconic bridge remaining in the upright position, and Hammersmith Bridge has been closed to the public since April 2019 as it undergoes major structural repair. Elsewhere along the river, Vauxhall Bridge and London Bridge are closed to car traffic as urgent repair work takes place. Campaign groups have called for the repairs to be carried out in full and at speed, as roads and commutes become harder as people return to work after the COVID-19 lockdown. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A protester from Extinction Rebellion walks between two trees in Parliament Square in Central London, UK on September 16, 2020. This is Day 15 of Extinction Rebellion's protest demanding the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (CEE) is passed into law by the government. The Bill will reduce the UK carbon emissions and hold a national citizens assembly on the crisis. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Tom Curran of England hits runs watched on by Alex Carey of Australia during the 3rd Royal London One Day International Series match between England and Australia at Emirates Old Trafford on September 16, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images for ECB)
Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday September 15 File photo dated 18/08/20 of Samantha Archetti, Collections Care Technician, cleaning a Hurricane ahead of the reopening of the Battle of Britain exhibition at IWM Duxford, which marks 80 years since the German Luftwaffe began its air attacks at the start of the Battle of Britain. Issue date: Tuesday September 15, 2020. The battle was a major air campaign fought in the skies over the UK in 1940 and was the first battle in history fought entirely in the air. Though the battle took place between July and October 1940, September 15 saw the British Royal Air Force (RAF) gain a decisive victory over the Luftwaffe in what was Nazi Germany�s largest daylight attack. A variety of tributes and commemorations will take place across the UK to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain despite limitations caused by the coronavirus crisis. See PA story MEMORIAL Battle. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Pro EU protesters stand near Parliament in London, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. Boris Johnson is facing the possibility of a Tory rebellion and major damage to his chances of a trade deal with the EU unless he removes controversial parts of the internal Bill which is in the House of Commons for its second reading Monday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A woman enjoying the sunny weather on the pier at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire, at the start of a week in which the UK is expected to bask in temperatures of more than 30C.
LONDON, Sept. 14, 2020 -- People walk on Tower Bridge in London, Britain, on Sept. 14, 2020. In order to curb the rise in coronavirus cases, tough new limits on social gatherings came into force in Britain on Monday, meaning that in most regions, it is now illegal for groups of more than six to meet up. The "rule of six" kicked off at midnight across England, Wales and Scotland in the latest push to curb the recent surge in coronavirus infections. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Tim Ireland via Getty Images)
Luna Eddy, 2, plays in the water feature, in Centenary Square, Birmingham, England, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, as high temperatures were expected in some parts of the UK. (Jacob King/PA via AP)
Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange take part in a protest outside the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, in London, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The London court hearing on Assange's extradition from Britain to the United States resumed Monday after a COVID-19 test on one of the participating lawyers came back negative, WikiLeaks said Friday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A protester speaks through a megaphone at the Parliament Square during the demonstration. They were protesting about �mask being useless against Covid-19� & the government forcing �fake rules and laws� on people during the pandemic. They were also against main stream media who �tell lies�. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
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EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY SEPTEMBER 14 File photo dated 21/03/20 of a closed pub in New Cross, south London. Thousands of pubs across the UK could be forced to call time as they face a looming �800 million business rates bill, a trade association has said.
Australia's Marnus Labuschagne walks off the field after being dismissed by England's Chris Woakes during the second ODI cricket match between England and Australia, at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (Shaun Botterill/Pool via AP)
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber perform songs by Schubert and Berg at a recital to launch the new season at Wigmore Hall as it becomes the first major UK music venue to welcome back live audiences, London.
A young woman takes a picture whilst feeding a parakeet from her hand as she enjoys the autumn sunshine in St James's Park London, at the start of a week in which the UK is expected to bask in temperatures of more than 30C.
Kool Moe Dee ridden by Pat Dobbs (centre) wins the visitbath.co.uk Nursery at Bath Racecourse.
The sun rises behind the skyscrapers of the City of London financial district, at the start of a week in which the UK is expected to bask in temperatures of more than 30C. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
A group of people walk in Victoria Gardens, in London, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. From Monday, social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England — both indoors and outdoors — and Boris Johnson hinted that such restrictions will potentially remain in place until or through Christmas. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Tottenham's manager Jose Mourinho gives instructions to his players during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (Adam Davy/Pool via AP)
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Meanwhile, the number of people in employment dropped to 32.98 million, falling 12,000 since the previous quarter.

However, the rate of employment nudged 0.1 percentage points higher to 76.5%.

This was bolstered by a joint record high for the number of women in work across the UK, with 72.9% of women in work.

Meanwhile, jobs vacancies for the three months to August rebounded.

The ONS said there were an estimated 434,000 vacancies in the quarter, rising 30% from a record low in the quarter to June, but still significantly below pre-virus levels.

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: "Some effects of the pandemic on the labour market were beginning to unwind in July as parts of the economy reopened.

"Fewer workers were away on furlough and average hours rose.

"The number of job vacancies continued to recover into August, too.

"Nonetheless, with the number of employees on the payroll down again in August and both unemployment and redundancies sharply up in July, it is clear that coronavirus is still having a big impact on the world of work."

The ONS also reported that average wages were 1% lower than a year ago, with particular slumps in wages in the construction, retail and hospitality sectors.

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