January 02, 2023: -Along with sky-high inflation and energy costs, a Brexit-related trade tailspin and a slump in progress, the U.K. economy is hammered by record numbers of workers who report long-term sickness.
The Office for National Statistics stated that between June and August 2022, nearly 2.5 million people cited long-term, which is sick as the main reason for economic inactivity, an increase of about half a million since 2019.
The number of “economically inactive” people those neither working nor looking for a job between the ages of 16 and 64 has increased by over 630,000 since 2019. Unlike major economies, recent U.K. data show no sign that these previous workers are returning to the labour market, even as inflation and energy costs exert massive pressure on household finances.
The U.K. is avoiding mass job losses in the Covid-19 pandemic as the government’s furlough program subsidized firms to retain workers. But since lockdown measures are lifting, the country has seen a labour market exodus of unique proportions among advanced economies.
In its report in the previous month, the ONS stated a range of factors could be behind the latest spike, including National Health Service waiting lists at record highs, an ageing population and the effects of long Covid.
“Younger people are seeing some of the significant relative increases, and some industries, like wholesale and retail, are affecting to a greater extent than others,” the ONS stated.
Though the effects of the issues stated above haven’t been quantified, the report stated that the increase has been driven by “different health problems or disabilities,” “mental problems and nervous disorders”, and “problems connected with back or neck.”