Home News Unemployment soars 69% between March and April

The Office of National Statistics has released the latest unemployment statistics showing that jobless claims increased 69% to 2.1 million between March and April. The data reinforces the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The increase in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits is the highest month on month increase since comparable records began in 1971. Average pay also fell and job recruitment came to a virtual halt according to the Government figures.

The rise of 856,500 in unemployment claims indicates the scale of outright job losses resulting from the coronavirus crisis. The sharpest increases in claims were seen in the South West and South East of England.

New data from the Treasury also revealed that 8 million jobs have now been furloughed with £11.1 billion claimed so far through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Self-employment Income Support (SEISS) claims totalled 2 million and were worth £6.1 billion. Hours worked during the last in March fell by 25%.

The rise in unemployment claims are in contrast to the main points for January to March 2020 which showed that UK employment rate was estimated at a joint record high of 76.6%, 0.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.2 percentage points up on the previous quarter.
During the first quarter the UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%, 0.1 percentage points higher than a year earlier and also 0.1 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.
Employment in construction increased slightly between Q1 2020 and Q4 2019, however, construction employment was down 4% on the same period in 2019. 

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