Unemployment

More Than 810,000 UK Workers Have Lost Jobs Since March 2020

56,000 Brits lost their jobs last month, taking the total number of losses to 813,000 over the past year of lockdowns, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While the continued existence of the furlough scheme is likely masking the true impact of lockdowns on the unemployment rate, ONS officials say there are some reasons to be optimistic. The Mail has the story.

More than 813,000 workers have lost their jobs since the start of the Covid crisis, it emerged today…

But there were further signs that the jobs sector is stabilising, with the first quarterly fall in the unemployment rate since 2019 between December and February and statistics signalling a near-16% jump in vacancies in March.

The unemployment rate eased back further to 4.9% from 5% in the previous three months, the ONS said.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “The latest figures suggest that the jobs market has been broadly stable in recent months after the major shock of last spring.

“The number of people on payroll fell slightly in March after a few months of growth.

“There are, though, over 800,000 fewer employees than before the pandemic struck, and with around five million people employed but still on furlough, the labour market remains subdued.

“However, with the prospect of businesses reopening, there was a marked rise in job vacancies in March, especially in sectors such as hospitality.”

BBC News reports that young people continue to bear the brunt of the crisis due to damage done to the hospitality and retail sectors.

People under 25 accounted for more than half of the payroll jobs lost in the year to March, it said – some 436,000 positions.

The Mail‘s report is worth reading in full.

40% of Theatre and Arts Workers Have Lost Job in Past 12 Months

Nearly 40% of theatre and arts workers in London have been made redundant since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to ITV News.

Many of the workers, including backstage and bar staff working at the capital’s biggest venues, have also struggled to access vital Government support schemes such as furlough.

Of those who did receive support, more than half say the payments were so small they were unable to pay their household bills.

The findings come from an ITV News survey, conducted alongside the union Bectu, of more than 1,000 people living or working in London’s theatre, TV production, and live events industries.

It comes exactly one year since theatres closed in the UK, a day known in the industry as ‘Dark Monday’ due to the devastating impact of the pandemic on London’s West End.

Responding to the survey, famous West End actor Michael Ball described the findings as “heartbreaking”.

The survey found:

* 39% of workers had been made redundant at some point during the last year

* 20% have been unable to receive any financial support payment from the Government (including Furlough and the Self-Employment Income Scheme (SEISS)

* 49% say the payments were not big enough to cover their household bills

* More than 54% workers have lost more than half their income during the last year

* Nearly 60% have considering quitting the industry altogether because of the impact of pandemic

Will the West End ever recover?

Worth reading in full.

Unemployment of Recent Graduates Reached 12% Last Year

A report by the ONS has found that unemployment for recent university graduates reached 12% in the third quarter of last year, following months of Government-imposed lockdowns. Here are the key findings:

Unemployment amongst graduates has been consistently lower than the total. The average unemployment rate for graduates between Quarter 1 2017 and Quarter 3 2020 was 3.0%, compared with the total average unemployment rate of 4.2%. However, average unemployment for recent graduates was the highest, averaging at 6.3% over the period and reaching a peak of 12.0% in Quarter 3 2020. This suggests that recent graduates have been hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of unemployment.