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The rate of unemployment in the UK rose to 5.1% in the three months to December, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics said 1.74 million people were unemployed in the October to December period, up 454,000 from the same quarter in 2019.

The figures show 726,000 fewer people are currently in payrolled employment than before the start of the pandemic.

Almost three-fifths of this fall, 425,000, has come from those aged under-25.

However, the ONS said that there were some “tentative early signs” of the labour market stabilising. There was a small increase in the

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