UK Jobless Claims Surge By Record Amount As Pandemic Hits

A cyclist rides his bike along Waterloo Bridge, in London, Monday, May 18, 2020. Large areas of London are to be closed to cars and vans to allow people to walk and cycle safely as the coronavirus lockdown is eased, including Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

(AP) — Unemployment claims in Britain jumped by a record amount in April to their highest level since the 1990s. The new data released Tuesday underscores the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the economy despite programs being put into place to keep workers on payrolls. 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. As bad as it was, economists suggest 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.

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