“Latest figures mask the extent of the rise in unemployment expected this year,” says Yael Selfin, Chief Economist at KPMG UK.
“Early figures for March underscore the impact COVID-19 is likely to have on the labour market.
“We estimate that as many as 13 million jobs are in sectors highly affected by the lockdown, representing 36% of all jobs in the UK, which could see unemployment rising to just under 9% during the lockdown period.
“An additional spike in unemployment after the lockdown also seems likely, once government support via the Job Retention Scheme ends.
“While the unemployment rate in 2020 could average below the rate the UK suffered in the recessions of 1980s, 1990s and 2008-09, this is due to the historically low level of unemployment in the UK prior to the current crisis. The rise in unemployment is expected to be proportionally larger than in past recessions owing to the severity of the crisis. However, a relatively faster recovery should also see unemployment falling more quickly this time.”
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