Covid-related depression is driving labor shortages in U.K.

A mental health crisis among working-age Britons made worse by the coronavirus pandemic is driving U.K. labor shortages that are causing severe recruitment difficulties for employers.

A woman walks past a recruitment agency in central London. Foto: Andrew Winning/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Official figures published Tuesday revealed that 411,000 people dropped out of the workforce between February 2020, the month before lockdown, and November last year. Of those, 209,000 were "long-term sick," which is now the largest single reason for inactivity.

A lack of workers is creating serious problems for companies. The U.K. had almost 1.2 million unfilled vacancies in December despite record hiring, a shortfall that is driving up wages and holding back firms across the economy...

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