Young men in the UK are being hit the worst during the coronavirus-induced employment levels when looking at age and gender demographics.
Latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday show that the unemployment rate rose to 4.9%, up from 4.8% a month earlier and redundancies reached an all-time high of 370,000. However, delving deeper, unemployment levels among men aged between 18 and 24 have risen by 39% since the onset of the pandemic.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) pointed out that this is “by some distance the worst outcome of any group in terms of age and gender.” The data did not look at split by ethnicity.
“Even the most optimistic forecasters would not have expected the economy to have generated a record high number of full-time employees at this stage of the economic cycle,” said Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser, CIPD.
“This is due to growth in public sector employment and the series of targeted government measures that have helped preserve jobs against the backdrop of a flexible labour market.
“At the same time, pain is still being inflicted on significant parts of the workforce, especially young male jobseekers and the self-employed. And the worry is that the record increase in redundancies will add fuel to the rising jobless count in the coming months.”
WATCH: Matt Hancock announces areas entering Tier 3
On Monday, the UK government announced that London — worth of a quarter of the UK economy — and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire were placed on ‘very high alert’ in Tier 3 of England’s regional lockdown system.
The move sets major restrictions on movements and business dealings, including the mass shutdown of pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, museums, zoos and other culture, hospitality and other venues for the third time this year.
WATCH: London traders react to the tier three coronavirus restrictions
The CIPD called on the government to extend the Job Retention Scheme — more commonly known as the furlough scheme — as the UK economy continues to grapple with the financial and employment fallout.
“The government needs to consider extending the Job Retention Scheme to the end of June to keep a lid on unemployment; especially for sectors that will continue to be subjected to public health restrictions,” said Davies.
“In addition, the government should significantly raise public skills investment to help upskill or retrain staff in sectors hardest hit by the pandemic and for those who have been made redundant during this period.”