| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Two million people in UK didn’t work for six months

Almost two million people in UK have not worked for at least six months due to the economic impact of the pandemic, according Resolution Foundation report.

Those people affected were either unemployed or fully furloughed, the Resolution Foundation think tank said.

It is calling for the furlough scheme to remain in place for several months after lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Treasury said the government would continue to invest in protecting and creating jobs.

The Resolution Foundation said that of the nearly two million people affected, the majority have been on full-time furlough or have gone from furlough to unemployment and back, while another 700,000 have been officially unemployed.

Among those workers currently employed, 8 percent either expect to lose their jobs in the next three months, or have been told that they will be made redundant, the think tank added.

Nye Cominetti, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “While the UK’s economic prospects are finally looking up, job insecurity remains high, particularly among those who have spent long periods not working, or who are currently furloughed.”

The furlough scheme, which partially covers the wages of people placed on leave, has already been extended through to April.

The Resolution Foundation called on the government to keep the scheme in place for several months after public health restrictions have been lifted, giving employers time to recover and bring staff back.

It said support should be tailored to sectors of the economy which have been the hardest hit, such as hospitality.