LONDON (UK) – The number of people working in Britain has dropped dramatically since 2009 and signs are growing that the coronavirus will hit the labor market as the government imposes a massive job protection program.
Led by self-employed, 220,000 people were employed in the three months of June, official figures said on Tuesday.
Separate tax details for July show that the number of employees paying companies has dropped by 730,000 since March, voicing outrage over the sharp rise in unemployment.
Increasing job losses are expected as Britain puts down its retrenchment plan, which includes about three private sector jobs. It is due to close at the end of October.
“Worryingly, this is the first series of bad news in the labor market,” said Gerwyn Davies, senior labor market adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.
“The fact that the reduction in employment rather than increasing full-time employment is one of the reasons why jobs are so good as children continue to get sick as the last months start working.”
Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said government funding programs were working but job losses could not be avoided.
“It has always been clear to me that we cannot protect all work, but … we have a clear plan to protect, support and create jobs to ensure that no one is left without hope,” he said.
The list of companies organizes broadcasts, from British Airways (ICAG.L) and the London Evening Standard newspaper to retailers WH Smith (SMWH.L) and Selfridges.
The unemployment rate was suddenly caught at 3.9%. But that has shown many people who have stopped looking for work and as a result are considered to be workers, with 300,000 people claiming to be working but not earning a salary, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
Affiliated economists expected the unemployment rate to rise to 4.2%. Last week, the Bank of England predicted that the unemployment rate would hit 7.5% by the end of this year.
BoE Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden told The Times that the central bank still had a “big headroom” to revive its big bond buying program if necessary.
The ONS is expected to announce on Wednesday that the British economy has fallen sharply with a 21% drop in economic growth in the second quarter.
Tuesday’s figures showed the number of self-employed fell to record numbers in the three months to June, led by older workers. The number of employees has gone up – something the ONS has to say about a certain level of re-employment as employees.
The number of people claiming to be in debt across the country – benefiting the low-income and the unemployed – rose to 2.689 million in July, an increase of 117% from March.
Wages fell sharply over the past 10 years in April-June, down 1.2%, indicating how low-level employees earn 80% of their pay. With the exception of bonuses, payments have fallen for the first time since records began in 2001.
However, there was a slight increase in job vacancies in the three months to July as small businesses recruited employees to meet the coronavirus guidelines, the ONS said.