Figures just released claim redundancies could reach as many as 735,000 this autumn as the government’s furlough scheme comes to an end.
The data has been collated by the Institute Employment Studies (IES) with a Freedom of Information request and shows employers are planning twice as many redundancies than they did at the height of the 2008 recession.
Around 180,000 job cuts were planned between January and March, but as the pandemic hit and lockdown started that number doubled to 380,000 from May to July.
Now researchers say completed redundancies could be close to three quarters of a million by the end of autumn.
IES director Tony Wilson said: “Comparing what is happening now with what was happening in the last recession shows us we are experiencing a jobs crisis unlike anything we have seen before.”
Now the Institute has joined the calls for extra support for viable firms to help them keep their staff plus training and advice to help those whose jobs cannot be held open as furlough ends.
Plan for jobs
A government spokesman said: “Supporting jobs is an absolute priority which is why we’ve set out a comprehensive ‘Plan for Jobs’ to protect, create and support jobs across the UK by providing significant, targeted support where it is needed the most.”
So far the government has introduced the £2 billion Kickstart scheme aimed at encouraging employers to offer new training places and apprenticeships to young people, extra work coaches in job centres and a £1,000 incentive to employers to bring staff back from furlough.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) there have been 134,000 redundancies already this year with a further 379.000 jobs notified as being ‘at risk’.
But Labour Force Survey has shown that the true figure has been 20% higher than ONS estimates in recent years and on this basis IES estimates a further 445,000 jobs may be lost between July and September.
However, during the previous recession. Job losses were 80% higher than those notified to the Insolvency Service so IES believes the actual figure for redundancies could reach 735,000 at the height of the current crisis.