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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s jobless rate rose to 5.1% in the last three months of 2020, its highest in nearly five years but still lower than it would have been without a huge coronavirus jobs support scheme that finance minister Rishi Sunak looks set to extend next week.

FILE PHOTO: General view of the deserted New Bond Street with its closed shops, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson//File Photo

Separate data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of employees on company payrolls in January rose by 83,000 from December, the second monthly increase and its biggest since January 2015.

The jobless rate – the highest since the first three

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