According to reliable sources, unemployment in the United Kingdom has reportedly escalated to the highest level in four years on account of tougher lockdown measures amid the second wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. This continues to place more pressure on workers and businesses in the country, add sources knowledgeable of the matter.
In the three months until the end of November, the rate of unemployment has increased to 5 per cent, supposedly representing a total of over 1.7 million people, as per the Office for National Statistics. This value has apparently risen from 4.9 per cent in the three months until the end of October, reportedly spiking to the highest level since August 2016.
The number of redundancies in the country have also hit a record high through the quarter in the light of the stringent restrictions in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The ONS has also highlighted that the concentration of the lay-offs reportedly lies amongst younger workers, as well as in the hospitality and retail sectors.
As opined by Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Head of Economics, Dave Innes, the figures demonstrate the vitality of maintaining the higher rate of universal credit for the government. Cutting benefits at a time when unemployment grows is bad policy and bad economics, added Innes, emphasizing that it is not acceptable to leave millions of families in the dark regarding whether their incomes will be subjected to a £20 cut per week in April.
Apparently, the extensive usage of the furlough scheme has assisted the prevention of a more considerable increase in unemployment, cite economists.
According to Nye Cominetti, Senior Economist at the Resolution Foundation thinktank, as the labor market progressed towards deterioration, furlough has restrained tide on jobs losses. Nearly one in six private sector workers were laid off during the second lockdown in November 2020, with even more anticipated to be furloughed in the present, added Cominetti.