The UK unemployment figures for the three months of the year to the end of March – covering the first week of the lockdown – have been published by the office for national statistics.
From the publication, the figure shows the unemployment rate increased by 50,000 to 1.35 million in the three months to March.
“While only covering the first weeks of restrictions, our figures show Covid-19 is having a major impact on the labour market,” says Jonathan Athow, from the Office for National Statistics, which released the data.
“In March employment held up well, as furloughed workers still count as employed, but hours worked fell sharply in late March, especially in sectors such as hospitality and construction.
“Through April, though, there were signs of falling employment as real-time tax data show the number of employees on companies’ payrolls fell noticeably, and vacancies were sharply down too, with hospitality again falling steepest.”
But with the lockdown restriction easing now the figure is expected to reduce with time.