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Gloucestershire Business News

Young and old bear the brunt as employment falls

The number of people in work across the UK fell by 220,000 in the three months from April until June.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the largest decrease since May-July 2009 which was at the heart of the financial crisis.

The figures show that young, old and manual workers have been the worst affected during the coronavirus pandemic.

And they do not include people who have been furloughed, anyone on zero-hours contracts who is not receiving any shifts or people on unpaid leave which helped the unemployment rate to remain at 3.9 per cent.

ONS figures showed 81,000 fewer people were on payrolls last month - taking the total drop since the start of lockdown to 730,000.

The claimant count - which includes people claiming benefits for low incomes as well as the unemployed - rose by 116.8 per cent between March and July to 2.7 million.

For those in work, regular pay fell by 0.2 per cent in the three months up to June compared to the same period a year ago - the first negative growth since records began in 2001.

ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow said: "The groups of people most affected are younger workers, 24 and under, or older workers and those in more routine or less skilled jobs.

"This is concerning, as it's harder for these groups to find a new job or get into a job as easily as other workers."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government could not protect every job, but it did have "a clear plan to protect, support and create jobs to ensure that nobody is left without hope".

He said: "Today's labour market stats make it clear that our unprecedented support measures, including the furlough and self-employed support schemes, are working to safeguard millions of jobs and livelihoods that could otherwise have been lost."

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