Since the start of the pandemic, official unemployment figures have been distorted by the furlough, but now, with just over 2 million workers still furloughed and with the scheme being replaced by new funding arrangements from the end of this month, the Resolution Foundation https://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/jobs-jobs-jobs/ predicts an unemployment rate of just over 7 per cent for September, about twice the pre-pandemic rate. This would take unemployment to around 2.5 million – but with much more to come. Unemployment for the 18-24 age group had increased to 10% by mid-summer. Resolution predicts this will rise to 20% (about 750 000).
The likelihood that a previously furloughed worker was not in work in September was particularly high for the 18-24 age group (19 per cent were no longer working in September), though the number worried about future redundancy (15 per cent) is similar to those in older age groups.
Meanwhile Conservative peer David Young, who was employment secretary for Margaret Thatcher and with youth unemployment over 1 million at the end of the 1970s, also closely associated with the Manpower Services Commission and compulsory ‘youth training’ (without any guarantees of jobs), now says that this round of unemployment is ‘man made’ (!!) and people are losing their jobs ‘through no fault of their own’.
Young, also an adviser to David Cameron blamed schools for not teaching the skills needed for a changing world of work, but also young school leavers for not having the ‘right attitudes’ and claimed wages were too high, says that in the current circumstances, ‘even the most enterprising management will not bring back customers’, has urged Chancellor Sunak to develop new measures to help job creation. “The longer people are out of work, the harder it is to get back,” he told the Guardian.