Latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics indicates that 730,000 jobs have been lost since the start of the Coronavirus lockdown, with over 80,000 of the job losses occurring in July despite continued support from the government via the job retention scheme.

The number of people claiming benefits for unemployment or low pay rose by 117% to 2.7 million between March and July.

That was the worst quarterly performance since the financial crisis recession of 2009.

Commenting on its findings, ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said: “The labour market continues recent trends, with a fall in employment and significantly reduced hours of work as many people are furloughed.

“Figures from our main survey show there has been a rise in people without a job and not looking for one, though wanting to work. In addition, there are still a large number of people who say they are working no hours and getting zero pay.

“The falls in employment are greatest among the youngest and oldest workers, along with those in lower-skilled jobs.

“Vacancies numbers began to recover in July, especially in small businesses and sectors such as hospitality, but demand for workers remains depressed.”