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UK Unemployment Rises by 50,000 as Covid Takes Its Toll

Covid Takes Its Toll
Covid Takes Its Toll

What’s Behind the 50,000 Increase in UK Unemployment?

The surge in UK unemployment by 50,000 can be attributed to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In the first three months of 2020, the UK experienced a significant increase in its unemployment rate due to the effects of the virus. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) observed a decline in work hours, particularly in late March. Subsequently, as the UK went into lockdown, the April figures indicated a further decrease in employment.

Can the Government Handle the Surge in UK Unemployment?

The data from ONS revealed that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the UK, as indicated by the Claimant Count, reached its highest level since 1996 in April, with a total of 2.1 million claimants. In April, during the first full month of lockdown, there was a surge in benefits claims, with 856,000 people submitting claims. This situation has placed immense pressure on the Prime Minister to expedite the restart of the economy.

Therese Coffey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, assured the government’s capacity to manage the sharp increase in unemployment support claims. However, she also cautioned that the country should be prepared to witness a “significant” rise in the unemployment rate in the coming months.

Sectors Impacted by the Surge in UK Unemployment

Concerns have been raised, especially regarding the hospitality sector, which has been heavily affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic. Attention and flexibility are deemed necessary in managing this sector during these challenging times.

While the World Health Organization advises maintaining at least a one-meter distance to reduce the risk of Covid transmission, the UK continues to adhere to the two-meter rule.

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