Young people in the UK have faced the biggest increase in redundancy as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported.

In the three months to November, those aged 25-34 were made redundant at a rate of 16.2 for every 100 workers. It equates to a fivefold increase on the same period last year. All age groups had a rate of 14.2 per 100.

It comes as the ONS said the UK’s unemployment figure hit 5%, its highest level in five years. There were 1.72 million people without a job in the three-month period, a 418,000 increase on last year which is the biggest annual increase since 2009.

Unsurprisingly, the hospitality industry was the worst affected followed by manufacturing. Compared with last year, both industries saw 50,000 fewer jobs.

The ONS said this was the biggest rise in unemployment the UK has seen since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.

“This crisis has gone on far longer than any of us hoped - and every job lost as a result is a tragedy,” said Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

“Whilst the NHS is working hard to protect people with the vaccine, we’re throwing everything we’ve got at supporting businesses, individuals and families.

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “The pandemic continues to rip through the labour market.

“A return to tighter restrictions late last year will have stretched businesses’ ability to retain staff. Meanwhile, the furlough scheme will have provided an invaluable cushion for many firms, preventing unemployment from edging up even further.”