Economy

Unemployment rises with more than 695,000 jobs lost since March

Unemployment rises with more than 695,000 jobs lost since March”

The 104,000 rise in the number of people unemployed during the three-month period to July took the total to 1.4 million, and raised the unemployment rate by 0.2 percentage points to 4.1% - the biggest increase since the pandemic began.

The statistics agency said another 36,000 people fell off the payroll of private companies in August, taking the number to 695,000 since the imposition of the lockdown in March.

The UK's average weekly Earnings, excluding bonuses, arrived at +0.2% 3Mo/YoY in July versus -0.2% last and -0.2% expected while the gauge including bonuses came in at -1.0% 3Mo/YoY in July versus -1.2% previous and -1.3% expected.

Some 695,000 United Kingdom workers have disappeared from the payrolls of British companies since March, when the coronavirus lockdown began. It is 6.5 per cent of the working population.

There were 80 more claiming in Powys at 3,710 - a rate of five per cent.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: "Some effects of the pandemic on the labour market were beginning to unwind in July as parts of the economy reopened".

The government's coronavirus job subsidy scheme has shielded millions of workers and there were fewer job losses than feared in the figures published on Tuesday.

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The number of job vacancies rose to 434,000 in the three months to August, about 30% higher than in the April-to-June period but nearly half their level before the pandemic.

"But across the United Kingdom, rising redundancies, creeping unemployment and a record fall in the number of young people in work are clear warning signs".

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: "For the period May to July 2020, Scotland's employment rate estimate rose slightly over the quarter to 74.3% and the unemployment rate estimate also rose slightly over the quarter to 4.6%".

The Bank of England has forecast that the unemployment rate will hit 7.5% at the end of this year, when it is expected to expand its bond-buying stimulus programme again.

The big question is how many of them will have a job to return to when the scheme ends in October.

"That means building on the furlough scheme by setting up a new job retention and upskilling deal, to keep people employed at firms that have a viable future", she said. With many firms are still facing waves of cash flow problems, rising costs and an uncertain economic outlook, it is probable that unemployment will escalate sharply as government support winds down. "This should include a significant cut in employer National Insurance contributions and more substantial support for firms placed under local lockdowns".



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