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Universal Credit claims soar by 856,000 as virus grips economy

Posted On: 19 May 2020   |   Posted By: The Big Issue

More than two million people in the UK are claiming Universal Credit after Covid-19 public health crisis pushed hundreds of thousands out of work, new figures show.
The concerning numbers mean the country should prepare for a “tidal wave of evictions” if no extra protection is given to private renters when the government lifts bans later this year, experts have warned.
The DWP released data showing a nearly 70 per cent increase in claimants between March and April this year as the country locked down to slow the spread of Covid-19.
And the number of new claims for the unemployment benefit and job seeker's allowance reached 856,500 in April alone, the biggest increase in claims since records began in the 1970s, as sectors were forced to effectively shut down indefinitely.
Our latest labour market data highlight some of the initial impacts of the coronavirus lockdown.
Hours worked fell as lockdown measures were introduced, with average hours in Great Britain around 25% below usual levels in the final week of...

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