Workers on United Kingdom payrolls tumble and benefit claims soar during lockdown

People walk in an office in the financial centre of Canary Wharf in London Britain

People walk in an office in the financial centre of Canary Wharf in London Britain

New figures suggested the down turn had yet to feed through fully into unemployment thanks to the job retention scheme but there was a sharp drop in the number of paid employees, down by 2.1% or 612,000 in May compared with March, and a huge increase in benefit claims.

'There is a lot going on in the labour market at the moment.

The unemployment rate was largely unchanged due to the massive number of workers in the United Kingdom that are now furloughed, meaning that the government pays the bulk of their wages and they are not counted as unemployed.

Newly updated figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed the tragic toll of coronavirus in United Kingdom neighbourhoods.

The figures only capture the first five weeks of lockdown.

Fiona Cincotta at Gain Capital said: "Whilst the Government's furlough scheme offers an unprecedented amount of support to the United Kingdom labour market, we can expect to see this start to unravel in the coming months as the scheme is gradually withdrawn".

"I know that many people will be feeling a deep sense of anxiety about their livelihoods".

You can also use InYourArea's own widget to see the latest more broad figures relating to coronavirus below. "Getting people back into work is the only way out of recession".

"These have saved almost 800,000 jobs across Scotland, as well as helping people and businesses through Value-Added Tax deferral, company loans and Universal Credit".

'Employment and unemployment rates have remained broadly unchanged over the three months to April.

South Africa's COVID-19 cases surpass half a million
He was speaking during virtual national summit looking at South Africa's response to the Covid-19 pandemic on Friday morning. South Africa was already in recession before the coronavirus hit, and its unemployment stands at 30 percent.

Experts were last night fearing the biggest single-month drop in employment on record, expecting this to rise to 4.7 percent. The employment rate for young people was 54.8 per cent, lower than a year ago (58.3 per cent).

"While this is higher than the United Kingdom unemployment rate which sits at 3.9%, these numbers are estimates from a survey, and statisticians calculate a range of values around the headline estimate to reflect the associated uncertainty", he said.

However, the ONS figures show little change in the United Kingdom unemployment rate for now.

The government's coronavirus job retention scheme is widely seen to have halted a much steeper rise in the official unemployment figures so far.

"However, this picture belies the significant number of workers (8.9 million, or one in four) being furloughed as a result of the fall in economic activity as these workers are still classified as being employed". This will be partially offset by an expected 4.8% increase in government investment. And those who become unemployed through this period will experience a very challenging economy in which to find new work.

As of June 7, 8.9 million Britons were now on furlough.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said that the unemployment figures were concerning, but they "only hint at the scale of the challenge that lies ahead".

Today (Jun 16), meanwhile, is the crunch day for many employers, as it marks the minimum 45-day collective consultancy period, with bosses having to decide whether to continue to keep employees on furlough from August 1 or elect to begin redundancy consultations, since they will need to contribute more to an employee's furlough pay from August 1.

"This includes extending it further for the hardest hit sectors such as hospitality and tourism". Millions of jobs are now at risk and what we're seeing may just be the tip of the iceberg.

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