Weak recovery could take unemployment to 1980s levels, warns OBR

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Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts UK’s biggest peacetime deficit in 300 years

Hopes for a rapid economic rebound from Covid-19 have been dealt a severe blow after official figures revealed a lacklustre return to growth in May and the government was put on notice for persistently higher levels of unemployment.

Sounding the alarm over the growth outlook as job losses across the country rapidly mount, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) – the treasury’s independent forecaster – warned unemployment could rise beyond the levels seen in the 1980s while the country struggles to regain its pre-virus footing.

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