But for the period of the ‘great depression,’ the United Kingdom has not experienced unemployment close to what the figures are today.

As a result, the number of people in claiming job-related benefits increased by a monthly 23.3% in May to 2.8 million, according to official figures released Tuesday which stated this as outcome of coronavirus lockdown.

The Office for National Statistics said the so-called claimant count —which includes both people who work on reduced income or hours and those who are actually unemployed — was 125.9% higher than in March, the month when lockdown restrictions were imposed.

The statistics agency also said the number of people on payroll fell by 2.1%, or 612,000, between March and May.

“If the public health crisis is just starting to ease, today’s figures show that the unemployment crisis is only just beginning,” said Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies.

Wilson said that unemployment is rising faster than during the Great Depression in the 1930s and is set to top 3 million this summer.

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