UK job vacancies dived in the three months to March as the labour market contracted in the face of the coronavirus, official statisticians have revealed.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of job vacancies plunged by 52,000 to 795,000 for the quarter.
Economists also revealed on Tuesday that unemployment increased by 22,000 to 1.36 million in the three months to February, before Covid-19 gripped the UK.
David Freeman, ONS head of labour market statistics, said: “Our final data wholly from before the coronavirus restrictions were in place showed the labour market was very robust in the three months to February.
“For the first time, we have brought forward information on the number of employees in work using PAYE data to cover a more recent period.
“These experimental statistics show a softening picture in March, but cover the month as a whole including the period before the coronavirus restrictions were in place.”