LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is suffering from what looks like a record level of inactivity in its labour market because of the huge numbers of people on furlough or facing unemployment due to COVID-19, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said.
“We’ve seen activity across the economy collapse, and we’ve seen a rapid rise in inactivity among workers – both people being made unemployed, but importantly … 8 million people underemployed due to furlough schemes,” Haldane said during an online discussion at the CogX technology conference.
“That’s a level of inactivity in the jobs market we haven’t seen, possibly ever,” he added.
The BoE said last month that the unemployment rate was likely to more than double to 9% during the three months to June, excluding the millions of people being kept in work by the government’s job support scheme.
(Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison)