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Huge Rise in Unemployment Benefit Claimants

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has found that there has been a significant rise in unemployment benefit claims in April.

In total there were 856,500 fresh unemployment claims last month, highlighting the economic pressure built up by coronavirus.

Overall, there are now 2.1 million seeking support as they are no longer economically active.

Vacancy Numbers Plummet

There was further bad news for the UK economy.

As the ONS revealed that were 170,000 fewer job vacancies from February to April, compared to the previous quarter.

Also, there were 210,000 less job openings in contrast to a year ago.

In the three months up to March, employment levels were at a joint record high at 76.6%.

The figures present a worrying statement on the current position of the economy.

Unemployment Rates Stable

The ONS estimated that the rates of unemployment is 3.9%.

Only 0.1% higher than a year earlier, and the previous quarter.

Yet it was 0.1% lower than what was recorded for February.

Which was the highest levels of unemployment in the UK since the latter part of 2011.

It is certain that levels of unemployment will rise sharply, as many companies have been inactive due to coronavirus.

Some businesses believe they will not be in a position to contribute to the job retention scheme from August.

Paying a part of furloughed workers’ salaries.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined the alterations to the scheme last week.

The ONS also revealed that the total number of working hours decreased by 12.4 million in the three months to March.


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