730,000 people lost their jobs since lockdown began in March, new figures show

New figures have shown that 730,000 people lost their jobs between March and July.

Another 81,000 jobs were lost last month, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Office for National Statistics said.

ONS Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics Jonathan Athow said: “The labour market continues recent trends, with a fall in employment and significantly reduced hours of work as many people are furloughed. Figures from our main survey show there has been a rise in people without a job and not looking for one, though wanting to work. In addition, there are still a large number of people who say they are working no hours and getting zero pay."

“The falls in employment are greatest among the youngest and oldest workers, along with those in lower-skilled jobs. Vacancies numbers began to recover in July, especially in small businesses and sectors such as hospitality, but demand for workers remains depressed," he added.

Responding to the latest figures, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: "Today’s labour market stats make it clear that our unprecedented support measures, including the furlough and self-employed support schemes, are working to safeguard millions of jobs and livelihoods that could otherwise have been lost."

"I’ve always been clear that we can’t protect every job, but through our Plan For Jobs we have a clear plan to protect, support and create jobs to ensure that nobody is left without hope," he added.