The number of people being made redundant in the UK has risen at the fastest rate since records began as the economic fallout from Covid-19 and the scaling back of the government’s furlough scheme drives up unemployment.
The Office for National Statistics said the number of people being made redundant in the UK almost doubled in the three months to August, increasing by 114,000 to reach 227,000, as the shock from the Covid recession rippled through the jobs market.
The unemployment rate rose by more than expected to 4.5%, up from 4.1% in July, with the biggest increase in the jobless rate in more than a decade leaving 1.5 million out of work. Stoking concerns of a full-blown jobs crisis this winter after the furlough scheme ends, the figures showed the increase was driven by self-employed men losing their jobs and women working part-time falling out of the jobs market altogether.
Overall employment has fallen by 480,000 since the start of the year, with 16- to 24-year-olds accounting for 60% of the decline as the pandemic strikes a heavy blow for a generation of young people whose lives have been disrupted by the global health emergency.