U.K. Employment Drops Most Since 2009 as Labor Crisis Looms

U.K. employment fell by the most since the global financial crisis at the height of the nation’s lockdown, as the number of Britons with jobs tumbled by 220,000.

The second-quarter figures, covering the period that saw coronavrius restrictions at their most severe, are a taste of a labor-market crisis that’s expected to gather pace as government support is gradually withdrawn from this month.

The Office for National Statistics also said early indicators for July suggest that the number of employees on payrolls is down around 730,000 compared with March.

The figures comes before data tomorrow that is expected to show Britain had the biggest economic contraction among group-of-seven economies in the second quarter, with a 20.5% drop in output.

While that has yet to translate into a significant jump in the unemployment rate, which stayed at 3.9% in the three months through June as more people gave up looking for work, officials are increasingly worried that will change later this year, threatening any recovery in growth.

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