Britons who returned to the workforce after the U.K.s first lockdown this year received a harsh welcome. The number of people moving from economic inactivity to unemployment surged to a record in the third quarter as new job seekers struggled to find work in the virusstricken economy, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday.
The shutdown of the economy for much of the second quarter meant many of those who lost jobs were unable to look for work and declared themselves inactive instead of unemployed. Few succeeded in finding jobs after the easing of restrictions over the summer, with the number of people moving into work falling to the lowest level since 2009.
With the jobless rate climbing to the highest in four years, the government has extended a wage subsidy program through March. While that may help those at risk of losing their jobs, it wont provide much comfort to those seeking a new one.