(LONDON) #Coronavirus ONS Unemployment Report: A measure of the number of people claiming unemployment benef its in Britain leapt to its highest level since 1996 in April, the first full month of the government ’s #coronavirus lockdown, data published on Tuesday showed #AceFinanceDesk report

#AceFinanceReport – May.19: “The claimant count rose by 856,500 — the biggest ever month-on-month jump — to 2.097 million, a 69% increase, the Office for National Statistics said.” The surge would have been even sharper without a government programme to pay 80% of the wages of workers put on temporary leave by their employers, who do not count towards the unemployment total:

#Coronavirus ONS Unemployment Report: Claimant count rose by 856,500 to 2,097-million in first month of lockdown according to data provided on Tuesday:

https://t.co/51lAgp5zcv

” The ONS said emergency changes to Britain’s welfare system meant the claimant count number included more people who were still actually in work than normal, but the scale of the rise in claims showed the hit to the labour market.”

“ While only covering the first weeks of restrictions, our figures show COVID-19 is having a major impact on the labour market,” ONS Deputy National Statistician Jonathan Athow said “

“A Reuters poll of economists had produced a median forecast for a leap of 676,500 in the claimant count, with forecasts ranging widely from just over 56,000 to as high as 1.5 million.”

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said the government’s wage subsidy scheme was holding off some job losses for now but it was not clear how firms would react when they are required to help fund it from August.

““Many companies will still be in the middle of a cashflow crisis, and will struggle with any cost increases. Government faces an onerous task in winding down the scheme without causing too much pain,” he said.”

#AceFinanceDesk report ……………Published: May.19: 2020:

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