Labour Market Statistics, September 2020

 | Institute for Employment Studies  | Sep 2020

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This briefing note sets out analysis of the Labour Market Statistics published this morning.  The analysis covers Labour Force Survey data up to May to July 2020, and claimant count data to August 2020.

Today’s figures present a tale of two crises.  On the one hand, the data show that as the initial public health crisis eased and lockdown ended, numbers off work due to furlough fell significantly in July, hours worked increase, and vacancies began to slowly recover.  Nonetheless, as we have set out in previous briefings, the emergency lockdown also saw the numbers in paid work fall by around a million – with at least half a million vulnerable and insecure workers falling through the cracks of the government’s support scheme.

However, today’s data also show clearly a second, more lasting jobs crisis as we start to recover from recession – with redundancies rising by nearly a half in the last three months, the number of young people in work falling at its fastest since 2009, and unemployment starting to tick up as those who were previously discouraged from searching for work start to look for new jobs.