Unemployment in the United Kingdom has risen for the first time since the introduction of quarantine measures against the coronavirus. Figures from the National Statistical Office show that 4.1 percent of the labour force were unemployed in the period from May to July.
In the previous three months, the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent. The rise in unemployment is equivalent to the loss of some 695 000 jobs, according to the British statistical office.
The number of applications for unemployment benefit rose by 73,700 in August to a total of 2.7 million. That is more than a doubling since March (plus 120 percent).
The British government, like other European governments, came up with a support package to maintain jobs in the midst of the corona crisis. In addition, the government pays a large part of the wage costs for workers who are temporarily unemployed at home, but this programme has been blocked since the summer.