The number of people on British employers’ 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, data showed on Tuesday.
The jobless rate unexpectedly held at 3.9 percent over the three months to April, but that was largely due to the government’s huge job retention scheme and a rise in the number of people not classed as unemployed as they were unable to seek work in lockdown.
Vacancies fell by the most since the ONS began measuring them in 2001, down 342,000 to 476,000.
The number of people claiming Universal Credit welfare rose by a larger-than-expected 528,900 in May to 2.8 million, more than double the number in March. The figure includes people who are in work but are entitled to support due to a low income.