Nearly two million out of work for at least six months of the pandemic
Resolution Foundation study warns of long-term damage to the labour market and workers’ prospects if support is not extended.
Almost two million workers were unemployed or furloughed in January and had been for at least six months, according to new research revealing the scale of damage to the UK’s labour force caused by the pandemic.
The Resolution Foundation’s Long Covid in the labour market report found that around 700,000 UK workers had been unemployed and a further 500,000 had been fully furloughed for at least six months by January 2021.
When including those who had moved between full furlough and unemployment, the total number of people who had not worked for at least six months to January increased to 1.9 million.
The report was based on independent analysis of YouGov data on more than 6,000 18-65 year olds and an online survey conducted in collaboration with the Health Foundation.
The findings evidence that job insecurity remained high despite the improvement in the UK’s economic prospects – particularly among those who have spent long periods not working or who are currently furloughed.
Workers on long-term furlough still faced the same challenges as those who are unemployed, such as loss of skills and missed earnings growth, despite receiving greater financial support and having an easier route back into work.