COVID sends London’s jobless rate rocketing to almost 7 pct

The COVID-19 pandemic sent unemployment rate in London rocketing to 6.9 percent from September to November 2020, the highest level in Britain, prompting the London Assembly to make a call on Tuesday for an urgent action.

The 25-member assembly made the call in response to London’s latest unemployment data, published by the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday.

Between September and November 2020, the unemployment rate across Britain rose to 5 percent, but for the three months London had the highest unemployment rate estimate in the country at 6.9 percent.

Leonie Cooper, chair of the London Assembly Economy Committee said, “Today’s figures showing current unemployment levels in London are shocking, and are another stark reminder of the impact that COVID-19 has had on our economy.”

“Thousands of Londoners are now unemployed,” Cooper said. “We must always remember the people and families behind these numbers, each and every one facing struggle. It must now be a political, as well as an economic priority, to protect as many jobs as possible.”

Cooper said the number of Londoners losing their jobs is increasing as the months go on.

“As the UK battles through its third national lockdown since the pandemic began, businesses have no idea when they are likely to reopen again, and this is causing great financial worry for many. While vaccinations are coming and there is light at the end of the tunnel, there are still big issues that need to be addressed before life can go back to normal,” she said.

The latest London jobless rate was published as the number of people who died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test in Britain has surpassed 100,000 after another 1,631 have been officially confirmed.

England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.