People not working due to sickness hits fresh recordon June 13, 2023 at 6:33 am

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Around 2.6 million people are not working due to long-term health problems, official figures show.

Tired woman lying on a sofaImage source, Getty Images

The number of people not working due to sickness has risen to another record high, official figures show.

Around 2.6 million people, up from over 2.5 million last month, are not working due to long-term health problems, the Office for National Statistics said.

It came as the UK unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in the three months to April, down from 3.9% last time.

Wages grew at their fastest rate on record outside the pandemic, but still lag behind the cost of living.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “In cash terms, basic pay is now growing at its fastest since current records began, apart from the period when the figures were distorted by the pandemic.

“However, even so, wage rises continue to lag behind inflation.”

The UK economy is currently struggling to grow, as the soaring cost of living and rising interest rates squeeze households.

However, the jobs market remains resilient, with the total number of people in work rising to its highest level ever in the three months to April.

However, while the number of people neither working nor looking for work fell again, the number outside the jobs market due to long-term sickness continues to rise.

The ONS has blamed mental health issues in younger people and people suffering back and neck pain, possibly due to home working, for the increase.

It said one for every 13 people currently working, one person is long-term sick.

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