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Britain faces a surge in unemployment before Christmas, economists fear, as business struggle under lockdown restrictions and the government prepares new rules for areas where Covid-19 is the biggest threat.
The CEBR thinktank is warning this morning that at least 1.25 million more people are at risk of losing their jobs by Christmas, as it hikes its Christmas unemployment forecast.
With Covid-19 still battering the economy, more companies will be forced to lay staff off – particularly those who were furloughed since the lockdown.
As CEBR warns…
The job market outlook is negative for the coming months…
…the coming winter looks set to be a tough one.
That would push the jobless total towards three million – up from 1.4m this summer. It would drive the unemployment rate over 8% – for the first time in almost a decade.
The CEBR has calculated that 1.2m furloughed workers are at risk being laid off when the scheme expires at the end of the month, and that a further 300,000 are likely to be made redundant.
Worryingly, the CEBR doesn’t believe the government’s latest initiative — a new local furlough scheme for the hospitality industry announced on Friday afternoon — will make a major difference. It might save 250,000 jobs – or one-in-six of those at risk.
The newly announced furlough scheme is well targeted to soften the blow for businesses in the hospitality sector which now seem most at risk from another shut down. However, from March/ April we know that there are a range of economic knock-on effects from lockdowns and not all businesses in need