New stats show post-furlough unemployment hit young and ethnic minorities hardest

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  • A new report has found that more workers who were made unemployed after furlough were young or of an ethnic minority.

    The survey, which was conducted by an independent think-tank The Resolution Foundation, explored the circumstances of 6,000 individuals unemployment this year, specifically, those who had been made unemployed after a period of furlough.

    Of those surveyed, nearly a fifth (19%) of 18 to 24-year-olds who were initially furloughed in March were made redundant in September.

    Similarly, 22% of black, Asian and minority ethnic workers were made unemployed after furlough. Of the general population, only 9% lost their jobs after the furlough period.

    This comes despite the Treasury continually claiming they are doing everything they can to protect jobs, including support schemes and initiatives like ‘Eat Out to Help Out’.

    Appearing on BBC Today, president of TRF Lord Willetts, said: “Compared with previous recessions, the real slowdown is in the number of new jobs that people are moving into.”

    “Once you become unemployed, finding new employment looks like it’s even worse than it was after the financial crash,” he continued.

    When asked why he thought the young had been hit hardest by unemployment, he explained that many were employed in the sectors that, unfortunately, have suffered the biggest losses, such as retail and hospitality. He went on to highlight that getting another job now will be extremely tough as there are even less available in these sectors now.

    So what are they to do? You may remember the government’s initial ‘Job Retention scheme’, aka the furlough scheme, which paid 80% of employees wages if they were unable to work.

    This scheme is now being replaced by the ‘Job Support scheme’, which many have criticised as being ‘less generous’ and ‘not enough’.

    The report also concluded that many who were initially furloughed are back in work—more than half, to be precise. Although, a third of those surveyed are still surviving on the government’s furlough payments.

    RF researcher Kathleen Henehan shared: “The first eight months of the Covid crisis have been marked by an almighty economic shock and unprecedented support that has cushioned the impact in terms of people’s livelihoods.

    “But the true nature of Britain’s jobs crisis is starting to reveal itself.”

    “Worryingly, fewer than half of those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic have been able to find work since,” she added.

    “This suggests that even if the public health crisis recedes in a few months’ time, Britain’s jobs crisis will be with us for far longer.”

    What does The Treasury have to say? Well, they stuck up for their schemes and said they’re doing ‘everything they can’.

    One spokeswoman said: “We’re doing everything we can to ensure our coronavirus support reaches those who need it the most, across all backgrounds.

    “Our wage support schemes, loans and other measures have helped protect millions of jobs across the country through this crisis.”

    Have you been affected? If you have, remember you are not alone, and help is available. Try the Citizen’s Advice and Money Saving Expert pages for more advice and guidance.

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