Surge in redundancies pushes UK unemployment to 4.8% Redundancies rose to a record high of 314,000 in the three months to September driving up unemployment from 4.5% to 4.8%, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The number of people out of work rose by 243,000 in the three-month period, the largest increase since May 2009. The redundancy figure was higher because it included people who may have lost their jobs and then retired or decided to stop looking for work. Young people and men fared the worst and there was also a dramatic drop in the foreign-born workforce. Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies, said the changes in unemployment and employment were “worrying but not catastrophic”, although the continued lack of hiring was troubling.