The number of workers on the payroll in the UK fell by 649,000 between March and June as lockdown measures took their toll on the economy, official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.
In June, 649,000 fewer people were in paid employment when compared with March and 74,000 fewer when compared with May 2020. The ONS said lockdown had markedly "weakened" the labour market.
The number of people claiming work-related benefits, including the unemployed, was 2.6 million for the period, according to the statistics released this morning (16 July).
However, the large numbers of people placed on the government's furlough scheme mean the figures are lower than they could be or will be in the future. The Job Retention Scheme is being gradually tapered and will end in October.
The ONS said younger workers had been hard-hit. "The estimated number of people unemployed aged 16 to 24 years increased by 47,000 on the year while other age groups remained steady," it said.
Meanwhile, the BBC reported, banks have proposed setting-up a "student loans style" scheme to help businesses repay debt accrued during the pandemic in a bid to save jobs.
It said banks fear up to 800,000 businesses could go under next years they are unable to defer repayment of government-backed loans.
It's proposed student loan type repayment scheme would only see businesses hand back cash if they can afford it.
Banks want the scheme to be administered by HM Revenue & Customs, the report added.
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