Socialist Worker

Millions face Covid-19 jobs crisis

Issue No. 2751

Some 8.67 inactive workers will be looking for work when restrictions ease

Some 8.67 'inactive' workers will be looking for work when restrictions ease (Pic: Wikimedia/JJEllison)


Nearly 500,000 young workers have lost their jobs since January 2020, latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show. Young workers account for 60 percent of all jobs lost.

Some 1.67 million people were officially unemployed between December and February—311,000 more than a year ago.

There are 813,000 fewer workers on payrolls compared to a year ago. And this rose by 56,000 in March—the first rise since December. Still, some found reason to celebrate.

The Times newspaper reported, “Britain’s job market continued to perform better than expected during lockdown. Vacancy rates jumped, redundancies fell and unemployment dropped.”

The ONS showed that employment fell by 73,000 to 32.4 million in the three months to February. In truth, unemployment is higher than the headlines suggest.

The number of “inactive” workers rose by 80,000 to 8.67 million. They are not looking for work, but will be when restrictions ease. And five million people remain furloughed, facing uncertain futures.

The Resolution Foundation think tank said that, when furloughed and inactive workers are accounted for, there is a “Covid employment gap” of 6.2 million.

The figures are an indictment of a system that puts profit before people. But they also shame the union leaders who have failed to lead resistance to the Tories.


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