Around 730,000 jobs lost since start of coronavirus lockdown, Office of National Statistics reports

Around 730,000 UK workers have lost their jobs since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics.
Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The ONS said that employment rates have continued to decline in the last month as another 81,000 jobs fell off payrolls across the country, pushing the number of employed to just under 28.3 million.

However, the official unemployment rate is not rising, at 3.9%.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

To be counted among the unemployed, workers need to be actively looking for a new job, which many have decided not to do yet, the ONS said.

Around 730,000 jobs lost since lockdown started, according to the Office for National Statistics. Image PA.Around 730,000 jobs lost since lockdown started, according to the Office for National Statistics. Image PA.
Around 730,000 jobs lost since lockdown started, according to the Office for National Statistics. Image PA.

However, this does not mean that the people in question do not want a job, said Jonathan Athow, the ONS’s deputy national statistician for economic statistics.

“Figures from our main survey show there has been a rise in people without a job and not looking for one, though wanting to work,” he said.

“In addition, there are still a large number of people who say they are working no hours and getting zero pay.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Between May and June employment dropped by the largest amount in a quarter since 2009.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Image by Getty Images.Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Image by Getty Images.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Image by Getty Images.

The over-65s, the self-employed and part-time workers were especially badly hit.

Meanwhile, the number of hours worked by British employees has dropped to record lows.

Read More
Read more: Hays Travel's staff work on coronavirus test and trace programme

The ONS said that around 7.5 million people were estimated to be temporarily away from work in June this year, most of them on the Government’s furlough scheme.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Around three million of these had been away for three months or more.

And around 300,000 people in the UK were away from work because of the pandemic but getting no pay last month, the statisticians revealed.

The number of people claiming benefits because they are unemployed or underemployed jumped to 2.7 million, a nearly 117% increase since March.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Many people were taken off payrolls as large parts of the economy ground to a halt in late March when Prime Minister Boris Johnson told everyone to only leave their homes to exercise or get food.

Between March and June UK workers on company payrolls dropped by 649,000, according to ONS data released last month. Most of that was weighted towards the early days of lockdown.

Experts are worried that the full extent of Britain’s jobs problems has been hidden by the Government’s furlough scheme, which promised to cover 80% of the salaries of staff who could not work because of lockdown.

These furloughed workers are still considered to be employed, but many worry they will have no job to come back to when the scheme winds down.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The furlough scheme ends in October, though the Government has promised a £1,000 per employee bonus to any company that brings back furloughed staff and keeps paying them until January.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, said: “Today’s labour market stats make it clear that our unprecedented support measures, including the furlough and self-employed support schemes, are working to safeguard millions of jobs and livelihoods that could otherwise have been lost.”

A message from the Editor:

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

You can subscribe to this website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app.

With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Simply click ‘Subscribe’ in the menu. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.