Unemployment | 730,000 UK jobs lost during COVID-19 lockdown

730,000 UK jobs lost during COVID-19 lockdown

730,000 workers have fallen from company payrolls since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March, according to new data revealed by the Office for National Statistics.

Paid employment dropped for the fourth month in a row in July due to the continuing financial strain brought about by the pandemic and the Government’s mandatory lockdown measures earlier in the year.

Between June and July, 81,000 jobs were lost, with the slowing and imminent closure of the CJRS furlough scheme contributing largely to the brunt of the redundancies. However, the ONS data did highlight that the number of employees losing jobs was slowing.

Young professionals between the ages of 18 and 24 were the worst affected by both job losses and reduction in contracted hours; the number of zero-hours contracts increased by 156,000, or 17.4% to 1.05million in the same period.

And the cuts weren’t just limited to the young. Those aged 65 and over suffered the largest fall in employment since ONS records began; the number of over 65s in work decreased by over 161,000 to 1.26million over the three months from April to June.

“The falls in employment are greatest among the youngest and oldest workers, along with those in lower-skilled jobs,” Jonathan Athow, the ONS’s Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics told The Guardian.

“Vacancies numbers began to recover in July, especially in small businesses and sectors such as hospitality, but demand for workers remains depressed.”

The data also found that pay had dropped across the board, with levels including bonuses down by 1.2% and regular pay down by 0.2% the first negative reading since the records began.

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