UK job-related benefit claims spike by nearly 25% in May

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that the number of people in the U.K. claiming job-related benefits increased by a monthly 23.3% in May to 2.8 million. The level of the  claimant count as measured by the Office for National Statistics is also 125.9% higher than in March 2020, the month in which the country was put into lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The claimant count includes both those people who are employed with low income or hours and those who are actually unemployed. Further indications of the lockdown’s impact on the British labor market came with the news that the number of people on payroll fell by 2.1%, or 612,000 people, between March and May.