600,000 fewer workers on United Kingdom payrolls, data shows

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 2, 2020

While in the first quarter of 2020 there were around 800,000 job vacancies in the United Kingdom, between March and May that figure was cut in half, with just 476,000 vacancies now available in the country.

"In this case, the range for the unemployment rate in Scotland and the United Kingdom overlap - so we must be cautious about concluding that there are big differences between these". This figure includes both those employed with low income or hours, and those who are unemployed.

Figures also show unemployment in the region had fallen in the three months to April.

Labour Force Survey (LFS) data, covering the period up to end of April 2020, shows that weakening employment rates are particularly affecting the self-employed and men.

As businesses come out of lockdown from May, labour market prospects could improve, Teow suggested.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), a trade body representing brewers and pubs, has demanded Number 10 give a clear date for when pubs can open their doors, including what social distancing guidance businesses can expect to have to follow.

Separately, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs reported that 9.1 million workers have now been furloughed in the United Kingdom - meaning that more than one quarter of the British workforce has 80% of their monthly wages, up to £2,500 ($3,165), paid for by the government while they are at home. Companies will meanwhile have to start contributing from August.

'In addition, some furloughed workers may not have jobs to return to when this is over, which could put a dampener on the recovery.

Recruitment company chair James Reed, warned that "what was sadly a health emergency is now rapidly becoming an employment crisis", with the danger that unemployment could go above 15%.

But some organisations have warned they will require further support from the government to avoid mass redundancies, despite the easing of lockdown restrictions over the coming weeks and months.

Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser at the CIPD, said the record fall in vacancies was the most worrying feature of this latest statistical release.

"While this is higher than the United Kingdom unemployment rate which sits at 3.9%, these numbers are estimates from a survey, and statisticians calculate a range of values around the headline estimate to reflect the associated uncertainty", he said.

Existing jobs must be protected, jobseekers need support finding new roles, and furloughed workers should be redeployed or reskilled. The gloomier forecast figures reflect a poor economic performance in April due to the lockdown and deeper than expected contraction in Q1.

The UK economy collapsed by a fifth in size in April from March, ravaged by the Covid-19 outbreak that has killed more than 41,000 in Britain.

Scotland's unemployment rate is now the highest among all the United Kingdom nations, according to official figures.

The report predicts that total investment will fall 13.7% in 2020, with business investment declining 14%.

Scores of MPs, including former Cabinet ministers, used a debate in the House of Commons to urge the Government to announce its review decision before July 4. Additionally, government spending is forecast to rise 4.5%.

'Things like deglobalisation and the digital economy mean the "new normal" will be different to what's gone before.

Mr Hepburn also urged the United Kingdom government to ensure its support schemes reflected what was needed in Scotland.

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