Workers on United Kingdom payrolls tumble and unemployment claims soar during lockdown

Workers on United Kingdom payrolls tumble and unemployment claims soar during lockdown”

New figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that across the Black Country there were almost 10,000 extra claims made last month.

Wyre Forest, including Kidderminster, had a rise of 695 to 3,685 (6.3 per cent).

But benefit claims - up by 1.5m in two months - are a more representative figure of the true state of unemployment, even if the ONS cautions that expanded eligibility means it may overstate the true picture of joblessness, as some can claim while still working.

"If the public health crisis is just starting to ease, today's figures show that the unemployment crisis is only just beginning", Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies, told AP. Even if a quarter were still employed, however, the remainder would likely add four percentage points to the headline unemployment rate.

The ONS said the United Kingdom unemployment rate between February and April was unchanged on January to March, at 3.9 per cent, or 1.3 million.

The number of people on British company payrolls fell by more than 600,000 in April and May as the coronavirus lockdown hit the labor market, and vacancies plunged by the most on record, official data showed on Tuesday.

The news comes amid the announcement of job losses including agency workers at Jaguar Land Rover's plant at the i54 near Wolverhampton. Economists got expectations horribly wrong, pencilling in a rise in the unemployment rate to 4.7 per cent.

More news: European Union opens competition investigation into Apple's App Store

Elsewhere in its findings, the ONS revealed that the number of hours worked per week in the United Kingdom between March and May was down nearly 100 million hours on the previous year, showing the extent of the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on the economy in general.

The number of workers on payrolls across the United Kingdom fell by more than 600,000 during the same period.

That left the number of paid employees 2.1% lower than in March, the ONS said.

The ONS has said the claimant count nearly certainly overstates the rise in unemployment because it includes people who are in work but are entitled to support.

He added: "More detailed employment data up to April show a dramatic drop in the number of hours worked, which were down nearly 9% in the latest period, partly due to a six million rise in people away from work, including those furloughed".

The furlough scheme is due to run until the end of October although employers have to make contributions to the cost of paying their temporarily laid-off workers from August.

Lockdown has created a worsening Labour market, experts have said as new employment figures were released. "Wage support has given firms some much-needed time to regroup".

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