Britain’s Unemployment Rises Amid Calls for Extension of Job Subsidy Scheme
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
The unemployment rate in Britain has finally shown the effects of the coronavirus crisis, rising for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic back in March. The unemployment rate rose to 4.1% during the three months till July from 3.9%, coming in line with economists’ expectations.
The rise in unemployment levels has urged calls for the government to extend its job subsidy scheme beyond October when it is currently scheduled to wind down. The initiative has protected millions of jobs so far, helping several workers hold down their jobs through the lockdown.
Redundancies registered an increase by 48k to touch 156k, the biggest rise seen in more than 10 years. However, the figures are far below the numbers seen during the financial crisis back in 2008-09.
So far, the number of staff on company payrolls has fallen by 695k between March and August. Markets are anticipating greater job losses in September and October as the furlough sheme comes to an end even as business prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
Despite several calls, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that he would be unable to extend the job protection scheme. However, he noted before the parliament, “I have not hesitated to act in creative and effective ways to support jobs and employment, and will continue to do so.”