Redundancies hit a new record high in the late summer and early autumn despite the easing of lockdown measures, new estimates from the Office for National Statistics have shown.
The number of employees on payrolls fell by 730,000 between March and July 2020 - the largest quarterly drop since 2009 - but recruitment bodies suggest there have been signs of recovery over recent weeks.
The number of weekly working hours in the UK has fallen by 16.7%, the largest decrease since records began in 1971 with total hours dropping to their lowest level since the early summer of 1997.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £1,000 "job retention bonus" for employers that bring workers back from furlough.
The UK could be heading into an "employment crisis", commentators have warned, as the number of employees on payrolls dropped by 612,000 in two months.
The UK employment rate reached a record high before social distancing and coronavirus lockdown measures forced the closure of the majority of workplaces.
A nationwide "lockdown" for everybody apart from key workers, announced by Boris Johnson last night, means that many employees will be working from home or unable to work at all from today.
Supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda have embarked on a hiring spree in order to meet high demand.
Given the covid-19 coronavirus has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget announcement yesterday was rightly focused on the how the Government would support employers and workers as the UK attempts to contain the spread of the virus.
Two in five employers are not aware that it is legal to employ somebody who is homeless, a survey has found, which suggests many organisations could be needlessly shutting talented people out of work.
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