The ONS said that employment rates have continued to decline in the last month, as another 81,000 jobs fell off payrolls across the country.
Yet the official unemployment rate is not rising. To be counted among the unemployed, workers need to be actively looking for a new job, which many have decided not to do yet, the ONS said.
However, this does not mean that the people in question do not want a job, said Jonathan Athow, the ONS’s deputy national statistician for economic statistics.
In Yorkshire, Bradford was shown to have seen the largest rise in claimant counts in the region and the seventh highest nationally. Since March it has seen a 4.2 per cent increase in claims.
Analysis from the Centre for Cities think tank showed that the overall static picture also remains largely unchanged, with weaker city economies in the North and Midlands more likely to have higher claimant count rates than stronger city economies in the South East.
Blackpool, Hull and Birmingham are still the top three places, with claimant count rates approaching 10 per cent as a share of the working age population. This has been the case since May. Bradford and Middlesbrough had also seen large increases.
Earlier this month The Yorkshire Post revealed that parts of Yorkshire had among the highest levels of youth unemployment. “Figures from our main survey show there has been a rise in people without a job and not looking for one, though wanting to work,” he said.
“In addition, there are still a large number of people who say they are working no hours and getting zero pay.”
He added: “The labour market continues recent trends, with a fall in employment and significantly reduced hours of work as many people are furloughed.
“The falls in employment are greatest among the youngest and oldest workers, along with those in lower-skilled jobs.
“Vacancies numbers began to recover in July, especially in small businesses and sectors such as hospitality, but demand for workers remains depressed.”
The worst of the job losses came in the beginning of the lockdown months. Many people were taken off payrolls as large parts of the economy ground to a halt in late March when Prime Minister Boris Johnson told everyone to only leave their homes to exercise or get food.
Between March and June UK workers on company payrolls dropped by 649,000, according to ONS data released last month. Most of that was weighted towards the early days of lockdown.
Experts are worried that the full extent of Britain’s jobs problems has been hidden by the Government’s furlough scheme, which promised to cover 80% of the salaries of staff who could not work because of lockdown.
These furloughed workers are still considered to be unemployed, but many worry they will have no job to come back to when the scheme winds down.
The furlough scheme ends in October, though the Government has promised a £1,000 per employee bonus to any company that brings back furloughed staff and keeps paying them until January.
The British Chambers of Commerce Head of Economics Suren Thiru said: “While the headline data continues to lag behind the reality on the ground, the decline in the number of employees on payrolls and hours worked is further evidence of the damage being done to the UK labour market by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The furlough scheme has been successful in preserving millions of jobs. However, with firms continuing to face a perfect storm of increased costs, reduced demand, and diminished cash reserves, unemployment is likely to surge as the government support schemes wind down, unless action is taken.
“A significant spike in job losses would be a major drag on any recovery, stifling consumer spending and reducing the productive capacity of the UK economy.
“To help businesses recruit and retain staff, more needs to be done to reduce the overall cost of employment and prevent substantial redundancies. This could include significant expansion of the Employment Allowance and a cut in employer National Insurance Contributions.”
Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.
And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.
Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.
If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.
Sincerely. Thank you.