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Unemployment rate of the UK 1992-2021, by country

In the three months to January 2021, the unemployment rate in the United Kingdom was highest in England where it was 5.1 percent, followed by 4.1 percent in Scotland, 4.5 percent in Wales, and 3.7 percent in Northern Ireland, the lowest rate among the four countries of the UK. For the United Kingdom as a whole, the unemployment rate was five percent which was the highest unemployment rate for the UK since August 2016, and an indication of the economic damage which the Coronavirus pandemic is causing.

The full picture

Some indicators on how badly the UK economy will be affected by Coronavirus, include the monthly jobless claims, which increased by 850 thousand between March and April 2020, and the dramatic 18.3 percent fall in monthly gross domestic product recorded in April 2020. The fact that over 4.7 million jobs were still on the UK's job retention scheme at the end of January 2021 also hides the true extent of the labor market situation at present.

International comparisons

In April 2020, the unemployment rate of the United States reached 14.7 percent, compared to 4.4 percent in March. Although there was a slight decrease in May, when unemployment fell to 13.3 percent, the situation is undoubtedly severe. In Europe, it is forecast that unemployment for the whole of continent will average at nine percent in 2020, with unemployment in Greece predicted to reach 19.9 percent, compared with four percent in Germany.

Unemployment rate in the United Kingdom from May 1992 to January 2021, by country

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Release date

March 2021


United Kingdom

Survey time period

May 1992 to January 2021

Age group

16 years and older

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Statistics on "Unemployment in the UK"

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