Around seven million people in the UK who are unemployed are not looking for work because they do not want a job, according to official figures.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows of the 13m Brits who are not looking for work, over half said they were doing so because they did not want to work.
ONS data shows there are over three million more Brits who are not working compared to before the pandemic.
The figures come as large swathes of the UK economy are struggling to deliver usual services amid a severe shortage of workers and materials.
The retail, leisure and hospitality sectors have been acutely impacted, with McDonald’s announcing this week it will stop serving milkshakes in England, Scotland and Wales. Greggs has also warned there is shortage of its chicken bites.
Data from the Confederation of British Industry shows retailers have the lowest level of stock since records began.
The head of Tesco and the Co-op, two of the UK’s largest supermarkets, have warned food shelves could lay empty at Christmas as a result of disruption to the normal functioning of their supply chains.
Meanwhile, high emigration levels of EU workers since the onset of the pandemic and changes to UK immigration rules after Brexit has left logistics firms scrambling to find people with the appropriate skills to drive HGVs.
A global shortage of semi-conductors has prompted car manufacturers to halt production lines.