Coronavirus: Around 10,000 UK jobs cut in just two days - but is there cause for hope?

Airbus, Arcadia, Upper Crust and Harrods are among the brands all planning to cut their workforce.
Airbus, Arcadia, Upper Crust and Harrods are among the brands all planning to cut their workforce. Credit: PA

We are starting to feel the full force of the damage that was caused when he government shutdown large parts of the economy in March to protect public health.

Despite the extraordinary efforts the Treasury has made to financially support businesses - paying the wages of more than 9 million employees - companies are beginning to let people go en masse.

Airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers, retailers have decided their sales will not return to pre-crisis levels anytime soon and they cannot afford to take back some of the staff they’ve furloughed.

These redundancies haven’t happened sooner because of the government’s Job Retention Scheme. They are beginning to happen now because the government wants businesses to start contributing to cost of that scheme from next month. The scheme winds up at the end of October.

The scale of the jobs losses being announced is distressing. Those losing on the receiving end are likely to find job-hunting tough because so few companies are recruiting.

The chancellor will announce more help for those who find themselves out of work on Monday.

ITV News Business and Economics Editor Joel Hills explains the impact of the recent job losses

It’s easy to despair but it’s worth remembering that this is not a normal recession. It has been caused by a lockdown which is starting to lift.

A recovery is underway and the Bank of England believes it started sooner and looks stronger than it had been expecting.

In a speech yesterday, the Bank’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, said that there are two possible outcomes from here. Either spending will continue its revival, dragging unemployment down again, or the recovery will run out of puff, in which case unemployment will surge.

It’s still too soon to call which way we’re headed.