The UK unemployment rate unexpectedly fell from 5.1% to 4.8%, between January and March, official figures showed last week. Economists predict that unemployment will however rise later in the year, peaking at 5.9% – with the rise likely to come as a delayed response to employees exiting the Job Retention Scheme. Temporary measures preventing the use of winding up petitions expire at the end of June, which carries the risk of a wave of insolvencies business groups have warned. There are many zombie companies operating in the UK that will become insolvent on a cash flow basis when government support ends and employees come off furlough. The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, is being urged to work with HMRC to help those businesses at risk of collapse.
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