Over 800,000 jobs lost since pandemic took hold

By rotide
Created 15/12/2020 - 13:24

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released unemployment figures for the three months to October, showing a small rise in unemployment to 4.9% from 4.8%. Somewhat lower than forecasters had predicted but still masked by the number of staff on furlough, that may not have a job to return to, when the Government withdraws backing. There are calls to extend this backing to mid 2021, with the hope that by then the vaccine arrival will alleviate some of the economic pressures the crisis has put Governments under, the world over. In the UK the virus has reduced the employable workforce by some 819,000 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, with more than a third of those in the Hospitality sector and 20% in Retail. The total unemployed now standing at 1.7 million.

Without furloughing and the various other Government initiatives, the estimated unemployed end of year figure several months ago, before the extension to the furlough scheme, was looking somewhere between 7% and 9%

With the current furloughed figure looking close to 5 million, November lockdowns pushing it back up by 2 million, it will be difficult to envisage a situation where this doesn't climb higher when furloughing finally unwinds.

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