Labour Market Statistics, February 2021: 500 thousand ‘excess’ redundancies in 2020 and long-term youth unemployment near 200 thousand – highest since 2016.

IES News

23 Feb 2021

Commenting on this morning’s Labour Market Statistics, Tony Wilson, Director of the Institute for Employment Studies said:

“These jobs figures lay bare the impacts of the crisis last year, with 500 thousand more redundancies in 2020 than in 2019 and the largest annual fall in employment since 2009.  Nonetheless these figures are still better than many had feared earlier in the year, and the most recent payroll data shows employment growing again through December and January.  However there is enough in today’s data to give the Chancellor pause for thought as he puts the finishing touches to the Budget next week. Long-term youth unemployment has risen to 200 thousand, an increase of one third, and there are now comfortably more long-term unemployed people than there will be Kickstart jobs or subsidised apprenticeships.  Meanwhile the employment ‘gap’ appears to have stopped closing for disabled people, older workers and ethnic minority groups, with no specific measures in place to address this.  There also worrying signs of increased job insecurity, with now 1.5 million people in involuntary temporary or part-time work – up by 190 thousand on the year.

“If the Chancellor had hoped that at this Budget he may be able to start to rein in spending and ease up on support, today’s figures may will give him cause to think again.”

Read the detailed IES Labour Market Statistics briefing note here