The UK unemployment rate hit 5.1% in the final quarter of 2020, its highest since 2016, as tough coronavirus restrictions caused companies to lay off workers, according to official data on Tuesday. Yet the UK's Office for National Statistics said there were some "tentative" signs of stabilizing, with separate data showing the number of employees on company payrolls rose by 83,000 in January from December. The coronavirus pandemic has been particularly painful for the UK, which has suffered more than 120,000 deaths and the worst economic slump in the G7. However, the UK has been one of the fastest at rolling out coronavirus vaccines. This allowed Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lay out a "roadmap" on Monday that could see the whole of the economy reopened by the summer. The 5.1% unemployment rate in the final quarter of 2020 was up from 4.7% in the previous quarter and 3.8% a year earlier, the ONS said. It was the highest figure since early 2016. It meant...read more...