ONS 3.9% Figure Understates Jobs Shock, Unemployment Set to Hit 9%

Flash data from the ONS has shown a grim picture for employment. The impact has clearly started to bite – not least into public finances. The furlough programme has obscured much of the damage to come. It’s not going to be pretty when that scheme is eased this summer. The main takeaways are:

  • The number of employees declined by 450,000 in April
  • Claimant count up by 824,000
  • 7.4 million ‘temporarily away from paid work’
  • Average hours worked per week have collapsed to less than 25 hours. The average is usually 32-33 hours…
  • Job vacancies have fallen by 170,000, down to 637,000 vacancies in February to April 2020. This is the largest quarterly change since records began, larger than the previous record fo a fall of 106,000 vacancies in the last quarter of 2008…
  • Unemployment in the UK is officially estimated at 3.9% in Q1 2020. This is a mere 0.1% higher than in the previous quarter

How many of the furloughed will really have a job to return to when the pandemic furlough measures expire – in many cases it is just a delayed redundancy –  government hopes about the furlough scheme saving jobs don’t ring entirely true. ING economist James Smith estimates that we will likely see unemployment hit 9%. The longer lockdown continues the fewer furloughed will have jobs to return to…

mdi-tag-outline Data ONS Unemployment
mdi-timer May 19 2020 @ 09:00 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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