As lockdown eases and thousands of people make their way back to work and with millions being furloughed, the Office for National Statistics have confirmed that the number of people claiming benefits has increased by 69% in 3 months to 2.1 million. Today’s figures show that unemployment has risen by 50,000 to 1.35 Million in the 3 months to March. Without the furlough scheme the figures would have been much higher than this but that does not detract from the grim figures themselves.
Many firms have stopped advertising vacancies with job vacancies drying up almost completely in March and only now showing shoots of recovery as many businesses feel the impact of COVID19. All in all, the government’s attempt to ‘kick start’ the economy is likely to be too little too late with young workers being the hardest hit.
With the 2 metre rule making it difficult for some work to have continued during lockdown, questions are now being asked as to whether this rule was appropriate in the first instance, with the UK being the only country in Europe to use the rule. Germany have a 1.5 metre rule and France and Italy a 1 metre rule. Perhaps if the government had used the same rules as other countries some businesses may have been able to continue during the last few months, rather than just starting now, thus reducing at least some of the economic impact.