The number of redundancies in the UK has accelerated at the fastest pace since the financial crisis despite more than half of furloughed workers returning to their jobs after the lifting of lockdown.
As concerns mount over a looming autumn jobs crisis when the Treasury’s wage subsidy scheme closes at the end of next month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 156,000 people were made redundant in the three months to July. This is an increase of 48,000 from the three months to the end of May, and the sharpest quarterly rise since 2009.
The ONS said early indicators from HMRC showed 695,000 workers had dropped from company payrolls since March when the pandemic struck, with younger workers bearing the brunt after the economy plunged into the deepest recession on record.
Despite growing calls for an extension in the furlough scheme as the employment outlook deteriorates, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, released separate figures which showed large numbers of people returning to work.