The number of workers on the payroll in the UK fell 793,000 last month from a year earlier and fell 828,000 between February and December due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said .
Sam Beckett, director of ONS business statistics, said: “The latest monthly tax figures show that there were more than 800,000 fewer employees in December than last February.
“More detailed data, which was first published, shows that parts of London have seen the largest declines, followed by north-east Scotland.
“According to our survey data, the employment rate fell sharply again in the three months up to November, while the unemployment rate rose to 5% for the first time in over four years.
“The number of people who say they have been laid off in the past three months remains at a record high.
“In the meantime, vacancies, which rose in summer and early autumn, have fallen in recent months.”