Bradley K. Sherman
2021-01-08 07:05:24 UTC
Employment in the U.K. has seen its largest quarterly fall in
over a decade, according to official data published Tuesday.
The Office for National Statistics said estimates show 32.92
million people were in employment between April and June,
113,000 more than a year before, but 220,000 fewer than the
This decrease in employment, which affected both men and women,
was the largest quarterly fall since May to July 2009.
Data for July showed that the number of employees on payrolls
fell by 730,000 compared with March, the ONS said.
Survey data show employment is weakening and unemployment is
largely unchanged because of increases in economic inactivity,
with people out of work but not currently looking for work, it
The headline unemployment rate for April to June was 3.9%,
covering the U.K.s lockdown period that began in late March.
However the data is unlikely to show the true extent of job
losses caused by the coronavirus because of the U.K.
governments furlough scheme, which saw it subsidize the wages
of workers in a bid to stop employers making job cuts.
Under the furlough program, the government has paid up to 80% of
workers monthly wages up to £2,500 ($3,272), but it has said
companies have to share more of the costs of the scheme from
Responding to the data, U.K. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said
the government was unable to save all jobs affected by the
Ive always been clear that we cant protect every job, but ...
we have a clear plan to protect, support and create jobs to
ensure that nobody is left without hope, he said.
The latest data shows the number of people claiming unemployment
benefits reached 2.7 million in July 2020, an increase of 116.8%
A large number of people are estimated to be temporarily away
from work, including furloughed workers; approximately 7.5
million in June 2020 with over 3 million of these being away for
three months or more, the ONS said.
New analysis shows that the youngest workers, oldest workers
and those in manual or elementary occupations were those most
likely to be temporarily away from paid work during the
coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The CBI, a British business lobby group, said the data shows
the devastating mark left on the labour market by the
With the U.K. under stringent lockdown measures to contain the
virus in the quarter to June, fall in jobs and hours worked is
to be expected, Matthew Percival, CBI Director for People and
More positively, there is a small rise in vacancies,
particularly in the hospitality sector as restrictions were
relaxed, he added.