//Markets rocked by record oil slump, as UK unemployment rises – business live

Markets rocked by record oil slump, as UK unemployment rises – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as Covid-19 recession drives US crude oil into negative territory

UK jobless rate rose to 4% before coronavirus struckJobless total up by 58,000 compared with previous quarterInvestors shocked to see US oil fall to -$40 last night

7.56am BST

Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK, predicts that the UK unemployment rate will more than double this year, from the 4% reported today.

She writes:

“Early figures for March underscore the impact COVID-19 is likely to have on the labour market.

“We estimate that as many as 13 million jobs are in sectors highly affected by the lockdown, representing 36% of all jobs in the UK, which could see unemployment rising to just under 9% during the lockdown period.

“An additional spike in unemployment after the lockdown also seems likely, once government support via the Job Retention Scheme ends.

7.54am BST

Today’s unemployment report shows that the number of people claiming jobless benefits (the claimant count) rose in 12,000 last month.

The ONS has also estimated that the number of paid employees fell by 0.06% compared with February 2020, and that the number of vacancies has also dropped.

First ONS data for UK labour market for March still pre #coronavirus impact – the UK claimant count (no. of people seeking jobless benefits) rose by 12k m/m in March. Data collected on 12 March, before the lockdown.

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Read more: theguardian.com