The UK's unemployment rate edged higher in the three months to January, according to the latest figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the unemployment rate was 3.8% during the period, up two percentage points on the previous quarter. However, the employment rate - the share of working age adults who are not in full-time education - also increased slightly to 76.5%, which is a record high.
“Today’s figures show continuing record employment but also a slight rise in unemployment on the year,” ONS statistician David Freeman said. “This is because we also see a record low rate for people neither working nor looking for work.”
It comes as the Coronavirus outbreak continues to take hold and its impact on businesses is widely expected to be significant. This morning, trade body UK hospitality warned the outbreak could cost up to one million jobs in the hospitality and tourism industries if businesses and workers do not receive more support from the government.