The unemployment numbers in the UK are quite unsettling.
The number of people in Britain claiming jobless benefits has surged by 125.9% since the
beginning of the coronavirus lockdown in the country at the end of March, rising to more than 1.6 million people. The Office of National Statistics in Britain revealed that while the UK unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9% between February and April, job-related benefit started significantly soaring.
A model created by McKinsey collaborating with Oxford Economics, suggests that in a midpoint scenario, unemployment could peak at 9%, up from 4% in February 2020. One of the main reasons for this is likely to be because of furloughs converted into job losses.
There are other surveys and predictions by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) that state that the number of unemployed people in Britain could soar to almost 15% of the working population if the country experiences a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The main reason why the unemployment rate is staying unchanged at the moment is the
stepping in of the UK Government. The unemployment rate in the country would have been much higher without the Government’s emergency wage subsidy scheme. They assisted about a million companies with about eight million jobs in the opening weeks of the programme. The way that the program works is that the Government pays 80% of workers wages up to £2,500 per month with the company handling the rest. This gives companies some room when it comes to their cash flow which allowed them to get through.
According to another one of their schemes, around 7.5 million furloughed workers are receiving wage subsidies, with a planned extension until October. From August onwards these schemes will be adjusted to allow workers to return to work part-time. The only fear is that the companies might not be able to navigate through the storm, with most of their employees working from home, a significant decrease in the output of companies, a large number of people laid off.
Overall, employment in the United Kingdom decreased by 220000 in the three months to June 2020, the highest quarterly decrease from May to July 2009. The quarterly decrease in employment was also driven by workers aged 65 years and over, which are down by a record 161,000 to 1.26 million, the self-employed, which are down by a record 238,000 to 4.76 million, and part-time workers decreased by a record 364,000. Meanwhile, full-time employees (up by a record 301,000) largely offset the decrease. The main reason for this could be that larger companies are receiving a bailout from the Government in such cases, allowing them to move forward so as not to lay off any of their employees.
Employers are conducting big scale interviews and hiring people to fit the bill post a large
number of them taking leave or leaving with the Coronavirus looming around. Unfortunately, since people are avoiding meeting in person, the smartest way to handle these meetings are through video calls. Employers are conducting a CRB check per employee, now called a DBS check, which is the same check test but with a different name.