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Post-COVID Ray of Hope for UK With Jobless Total Just 200K Higher Than Pre-Pandemic

© REUTERS / PETER NICHOLLSBritain’s Chancellor Rishi Sunak takes a pancake from a stall at the London Wonderground comedy and music festival venue in London
Britain’s Chancellor Rishi Sunak takes a pancake from a stall at the London Wonderground comedy and music festival venue in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.08.2021
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The figures were in contrast to findings of a London School of Economics (LSE) study released at the weekend, in which one in 16 businesses surveyed said they expected to fold in the next quarter — coinciding with the end of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak's furlough scheme.
The UK economy is making a better-than-expected recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with unemployment falling close to pre-lockdown levels. 
New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the unemployment rate falling to 4.7 percent in the second quarter of this year, its lowest level since the three months to August 2020.
The number of people in paid employment rose by 182,000 in July to 28.9 million — just 201,000 less than before the pandemic.
Jonathan Athow, the ONS' deputy national statistician for economics, hailed the "continued improvement in the labour market".

​He said unemployment was finally falling among sections of the workforce — including the youth — and economic sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus slump.

​But Athow cautioned that there was still "some way to go", and that the recovery from the "pandemic shock" may not follow the same patterns as those after previous recessions. 

The UK Border at Heathrow Airport - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.08.2021
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​The figures were in contrast to findings of a London School of Economics (LSE) study released at the weekend, in which one in 16 businesses surveyed said they expected to fold in the next quarter — coinciding with the end of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak's furlough payment scheme for staff left redundant by the lockdown.
The LSE said one million jobs were at risk — although it noted that confidence amongst business owners had risen.
Athow said that the some two million workers were on furlough at the end of June, and the figure could have fallen since then.

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