Major UK companies now have more than 75,000 pipeline jobs, with more expected as partial closings and social exclusion continue in the summer months. Small businesses are also being hit, adding hundreds of thousands of job losses to the total.
British government data has not yet captured the hundreds of thousands of jobs that are likely to be cut in April.
According to official data, the UK unemployment rate remained below 4% in March. But timely indicators that include April give a sense of the looming jobs crisis. Government data showed that the number of employees on corporate payroll fell more than 450,000 between March and April.
Almost certainly the worst is coming.
About 8.7 million workers are repatriated in the UK as part of a program under which the government covers 80% of their salaries. But with gradual support ending from August to the end of the program in October, and as companies face a collapse in demand, companies may struggle to find work for many anonymous employees upon their return.
“Business leaders know that government support cannot be limitless, but the ugly fact is that if there is no money coming in the door, many companies will have to make tough decisions in August,” Jonathan Guildar, the institute’s director-general of managers, He said late last month.
Andrew Weishart, the British economist at Capital Economics, wrote last month that he expects the unemployment rate to rise to 9% in the coming months. “Most of this jump should be reversed quickly once the close is over, but we still expect the unemployment rate to remain high during the next few years,” he said.