The job market in the UK is in shambles, and the pandemic is making it difficult to do much about it.
It doesn’t seem likely that the economy in the UK is going to get any better any time soon. At the rate that jobs are currently lost, it looks like it would take a year or two for the economy to get back on track. After a lot of research, the Bank of England warned that UK unemployment will spike at 2.5 million by the end of the year, as firms cut jobs due to the shock of Covid-19. Some have even predicted this to reach as high as three million. In its latest forecasts, the Bank predicts the jobless rate will almost double to 7.5%, and only fall slowly in late 2021. Although the unemployment rate is not changing from 3.9% which is where it has been since the beginning of the year, the best way for someone to learn about the actual statistics is by seeing the number of people claiming unemployment benefits.
The economy would be in a significantly worse state if the Government were not assisting most businesses with the schemes that they are running. These schemes are forcing companies to hold on to their staff with the Government paying 80% of their salaries and the companies only, the difference. Once the Government bails on all the schemes that they are running for their people, which they are already planning on doing by October, they predicted that the economy will fall to a significantly a worse state than it has in the last three centuries.
The actual figures concerning the labour market are hidden behind two significant factors. First, and most obviously, the job retention scheme has meant millions of workers have furloughed since March. In the absence of 80% wage subsidies, many of them would be laid off. Currently, companies cannot even afford to pay the difference in many cases. Although these schemes are run to hold on to jobs, companies are still laying off their staff to cut costs.
Second, people are counted as unemployed if they lost their jobs, or do not have jobs or work and if they are seeking employment. Most people didn’t think it made sense looking for work while the economy was locked down, so people were classified as inactive rather than jobless. With so many changes with the job market, employers are not sure how they are supposed to respond. Since a large number of people have started remote working, employers have begun conducting background checks on their people. They do these tests to make sure they can trust the people they are working with, and some job description requires the background of the people they are hiring. They have to make sure that they do not have a criminal record. The most popular test handled is the DBS check which not only provides that information to the employer but also whether people deal well in all situations. There are instances where an enhanced DBS check brings to light the fact that they should not be around young children or older adults.