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Rise in unemployment due to long-term illness

Those leaving the workplace permanently due to sickness has hit record levels, reveals new data. 

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that more than two and half million people are not working as a result of poor health. 

It noted neck pain, back pain and an overall increase in mental health issues amongst young people as key catalysts for the rise. 

Currently, for every 13 people working, one person is absent from the workplace due to an on-going illness or health problem. 

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, also blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for the fall in economic activity, suggesting it led to “well over 400,000 more people outside of the labour market due to ill health.”

This record number arrived as the rate of unemployment climbed to 3.9% in three months to March, which is nearly four-fold what it was in the last quarter. 

We also saw a delcine in vacancies, which decreased by 55,000 for 18 months as the UK grappled with an economically volatile market. 

Neil Carberry, chief executive at the industry body the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, added: “We should be concerned by the high number of people who are economically inactive because they are sick, and progress on tackling inactivity overall is too slow,” 

“It is a year since the ONS reported on high worklessness, labour shortages and high inflation and too little has changed. This is holding the economy back by constraining companies’ ability to grow.”

If you’re looking for a new role in the public sector, housing sector or information and technology space, give our dedicated recruitment team a call on 0203 929 4000.

To find out more about looking after yourself as a remote worker, check out our blog: How to master working from home

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