clearn.png
Sunday July 12th, 2020 5:46AM

UK jobless claims surge by record amount as pandemic hits

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — Unemployment claims in Britain jumped by a record amount in April to their highest level since the 1990s, underscoring the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the economy despite government programs to keep workers on payrolls.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak downplayed the chances of a swift recovery in a parliamentary hearing. He could not, in short, pledge to secure every job or business. An immediate bounce back is not a given.

“Obviously the impact will be severe,” he said. “We are likely to face a severe recession the likes of which we have never seen.”

Jobless claims surged by 856,000 in April, to 2.1 million, the highest since 1996 and an increase of 69% from the month before, the Office of National Statistics said Tuesday. The figures covered only the first weeks of the lockdown, said Jonathan Athow, a statistician at the ONS.

As bad as it was, economists suggested it could have been much worse. The government created a job retention program to prevent millions of people from being laid off by effectively putting them on the government payroll. Britain's Treasury said Tuesday that 8 million people have been put on furlough schemes and that a further 2 million self-employed people have applied for income support.

“The fact unemployment hasn’t already shot up far higher given the huge fall in GDP and temporary closure of around a quarter of businesses is a good result for the government," said Andrew Wishart, an economist at Capital Economics. He said that reflects the fact so many people have been furloughed rather than being made redundant.

The government wage support scheme is due to ask employers to share costs from August, so job losses could accelerate if employers decide that their businesses can't survive and give up.

Among the sectors hit hardest were hospitality and construction. Job vacancies also dropped sharply, with the number of empty posts falling by 170,000 to 637,000 in the three months to April compared with the previous quarter.

The unemployment rate was at 3.9% in March, the last month for which full labor market statistics are available. Experts predict it will rise toward 10% by the fall.

Economist Kallum Pickering of Berenberg bank said that would mean an increase in the number of unemployed workers to around 3.3 million from about 1.35 million in March — far exceeding the previous peak of 2.7 million in October 2011 in the wake of the financial crisis. Others think it could rise far higher, especially if there is a second peak in the virus.

An unemployment rate peak of 10% would still be well below the rate in the U.S., where the jobless rate hit 14.7% already in April and is forecast to rise further.

The British government also announced Tuesday it was quadrupling the size of loans available to larger businesses which have been affected by the coronavirus crisis, many of whom have already used the job retention scheme to put workers on furlough.

The Treasury said companies will now be able to receive up to 200 million pounds ($245 million) under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, from 50 million pounds before. The scheme is available for firms with an annual turnover of more than 45 million pounds.

Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chamber of Commerce, said the change "will help ensure that more businesses of all sizes get access to the finance they need to help weather this unprecedented economic storm.”

___

Pan Pylas contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
UK jobless claims surge by record amount as pandemic hits
Unemployment claims in Britain jumped by a record amount in April to their highest level since the 1990s
6:25AM ( 7 minutes ago )
2017 video shows Georgia officer tried to tase Ahmaud Arbery
A video released Monday shows police in Georgia attempting to search Ahmaud Arbery’s parked car in 2017, and when he refuses to let them and begins to walk back to the vehicle an officer tries to use a stun gun on him
6:23AM ( 9 minutes ago )
5 things to know today - that aren't about the virus
Here are a few things to know about the day’s nonvirus news from The Associated Press
6:16AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Despite risks, Trump says he's taking hydroxychloroquine
President Donald Trump is drawing criticism from Democratic leaders after saying he has been taking the malaria drug he has touted as a treatment for the coronavirus
5:41AM ( 51 minutes ago )
Trump's use of malaria drug likely to be welcomed in India
President Donald Trump’s declaration that he was taking an antimalarial drug of dubious effectiveness to help fend off the coronavirus will be welcomed in India
5:21AM ( 1 hour ago )
UK unemployment claims surge 69% as pandemic takes hold
Unemployment claims in Britain jumped by 69% in April, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and hit the labour market
4:07AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Civic group: Mexico City virus deaths 3 times those reported
An anti-corruption watchdog group says a registry of death certificates in Mexico City shows there were 4,577 cases where doctors mentioned coronavirus or COVID-19, more than three times the official death toll in the capital
12:04AM ( 6 hours ago )
FBI: Shooter at Pensacola base coordinated with al-Qaida
U.S. officials say they have proven a link between the gunman in the deadly December attack at the Pensacola Naval Air Station and al-Qaida
11:46PM ( 6 hours ago )
WHO bows to calls from countries for independent virus probe
The World Health Organization has bowed to calls from most of its member states to launch an independent evaluation of how it managed the international response to the coronavirus
11:14PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online National News
The Latest: China warms to eventual probe of virus response
China supports an eventual review of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, but not an immediate probe as Australia and others have proposed
5:39AM ( 53 minutes ago )
The Latest: Greece's tourism revenue hammered by lockdown
Greece’s government says revenue from its vital tourism industry has been hammered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures
5:06AM ( 1 hour ago )
Asia Today: Hong Kong testing more airport, care home staff
Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam says the territory is ramping up testing, especially for airport workers and caregivers at homes for the elderly and disabled
4:55AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Report: Treasury fund to ease virus crisis off to slow start
The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve have lent hardly any money under a $500 billion fund created by the economic rescue law passed in response to the coronavirus crisis
6:43PM ( 11 hours ago )
Business, government operate under new rules, market rallies
States and companies are either opening, or laying the groundwork for the they day they can as infections fall in some of the hardest hit regions
6:16PM ( 12 hours ago )
Reports: World economy faces tough journey back from crisis
The world economy likely faces a long slog back from the coronavirus crisis
5:50PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
2017 video shows Georgia officer tried to tase Ahmaud Arbery
A video released Monday shows police in Georgia attempting to search Ahmaud Arbery’s parked car in 2017, and when he refuses to let them and begins to walk back to the vehicle an officer tries to use a stun gun on him
6:23AM ( 10 minutes ago )
5 things to know today - that aren't about the virus
Here are a few things to know about the day’s nonvirus news from The Associated Press
6:16AM ( 18 minutes ago )
UK lawmakers say testing lapses increased nursing home toll
An influential group of British lawmakers has accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government of failing to conduct enough tests for the new coronavirus
6:11AM ( 23 minutes ago )
The Latest: Man United to refund season ticket holders
Manchester United says it will refund fans with season tickets for the games they won’t be able to attend during the coronavirus pandemic
6:09AM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: Poland to resume some flights with restrictions
Poland’s national carrier PLL LOT says it is extending its ban on international flights for two more weeks but is resuming some domestic flights June 1
6:03AM ( 30 minutes ago )