Number of UK workers on company payroll falls by 650,000 amid Covid-19 crisis

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Hours worked between March and May plunged at fastest rate since records began in 1971

The number of employees on company payrolls in Britain has fallen by almost 650,000 since the onset of the coronavirus crisis in March, official figures show.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of hours worked in Britain plummeted between March and May at a record pace, as lockdown controls forced businesses across the country to temporarily close. It was the steepest fall since records began in 1971.

Related: 29% of UK businesses to cut jobs in next three months, survey says

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