The total economic inactivity, for the age group of 16-64, is not high at a historically high level. While increased after the Covid pandemic, it never reached level seen before and right after the 2008 Great Recession.

A rapid reduction, both in terms of the total number of people and the inactivity rate, can be observed since the start of 2022.

Nonetheless, people who became economically inactive due to long-term sickness (in the 16-64 demographic group) rose rapidly. The number of inactive people as a result of long-term illness fell to around 2 million by the second half of 2010s. Nonetheless, it starts an obvious uptrend since 2019 and was over 2.5 million in May.

As a percentage to total inactivity, the ratio of people long term sickness was at 22% at the end of 2016, a recent low point. It was at 29.2% in May just 0.1 percentage point below historical high booked for the quarter ended in April.

EconReporter is an independent journalism project focusing on Economics and global economic news.

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