856,000 people applied for employment and other benefits in April, a two-thirds increase taking the total to 2.1 million people.
The total figure is just for people who have claimed benefits since the lockdown began in March.
Around 20 million people are taking some kind of benefit in the UK which is nearly 1 in 3 people.
There has also been the lowest amount of job vacancies available since 2001, and greater even than the 2008 global financial collapse which tells how bad the situation is.
8 million people are currently being propped up by support furloughs from employers, aswell as two million self-employed people.
The corona pandemic has not only stopped millions working, but the effects could be seen for years to come.
Economists predict that youth unemployment in Britain will reach the 1 million mark over the coming year unless the government provides job guarantees or incentives for school leavers and graduates to stay on in education.
The Resolution Foundation (RF) said that in the absence of action an extra 600,000 people under the age of 25 would swell dole queues, with a risk of long-term damage to their career and pay prospects.
It comes as the 800,000 school and university leavers who are set to finish their studies this summer will come into the job market. A market which cannot currently cope.
The RF said a short-term lack of job opportunities would lead to long-term scarring of young people. Its report said employment rates of graduates entering the labour market during this crisis were projected to be 13% lower in three years’ time than they would have been had the crisis never happened.
Employment rates for mid- and low-skilled workers risked falling even further (by 27% and 37% respectively).
Those who found work would be earning low wages, the RF said. A year after leaving education the pay of graduates is projected to be 7% lower, and 9% and 19% lower for mid- and low-skilled workers.
Unless the government provides additional support, “The ‘corona class of 2020’ could face years of low pay and limited job prospects, long after the current economic storm has passed,