Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Britain has skyrocketed. According to reports, the jobless claims in the country are the highest since April 1996. The jobless benefits claims increased from 856,500 to 2.097 million in only a single month. According to the country’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), this is a 69% increase.
As per reports, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits would have been higher if the UK government had not launched a programme whereby they were paying 80% of the salary of workers that were put on temporary leave by their employers. These people do not count towards the unemployment total.
As per reports, ONS's Deputy National Statistician, Jonathan Athow, has said that these statistics only show the effects of only the first few weeks of the coronavirus restrictions. He added that their unemployment figures show that the deadly coronavirus is indeed having an impact on the United Kingdom’s labour market.
According to reports, the experimental data for the month of April, based on tax figures has revealed that the number of people on companies’ payrolls has reduced by 1.6% as compared to the month of March. Vacancies in several industries, especially the hotel industry were down.
The UK recently reported that it has recorded the lowest number of coronavirus related deaths on May 18 since the lockdown commenced on March 24. According to reports, despite recording the lowest number of single-day deaths, the death toll still rose by 160 and now stands at 34,796.
As per reports, the United Kingdom also reported 2,684 new coronavirus cases on May 18 taking the total number of cases in the country to 246,406. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also reported that two more deaths in Scotland, four deaths in Wales and six deaths in Northern Ireland. According to reports, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson has confirmed that 5,889 care homes across England have reported a suspected coronavirus outbreak.