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%.