Unemployment in the United Kingdom has risen for the first time since the introduction of lockdown measures against the coronavirus.
Figures from the National Statistics Office show that 4.1 percent of the labour force was unemployed in the period from May to July.
In the previous three months, the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent. The rise in the unemployment rate amounts to the loss of some 695,000 jobs, the statistics office reports.
The number of claims for unemployment benefits increased by 73,700 in August to a total of 2.7 million. That is more than double since March (plus 120 percent).
The British government, like other European governments, came earlier with a support package to preserve jobs during the corona crisis.
In addition, the government pays a large part of the wage costs for employees who are temporarily unemployed at home, but since the summer this program has been cut back.