Data discovered by payroll experts, Staffology, has discovered that the UK unemployment rate has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, and is 0.4% off the lowest ever rate of unemployment for 49 years. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a rise of 1.2% in unemployment from February to December 2020, which peaked when the vaccine was introduced.
Unemployment in relation to COVID-19 was at its worst during the time period of October to December 2020, when the unemployment rate sat at 5.2%. This was the highest number since January 2016, which was on the recovery path of the 2007 credit crunch that saw figures rise from 5.2% in 2007 to 7.9% in 2009. This figure sustained itself until 2013, when unemployment rate finally started to decline from a rate of 7.8%.
UK unemployment rate since 2017:
- 2017: 4.2%
- 2018: 3.9%
- 2019: 4%
- 2020: 5%
- 2021: 3.8%
However, while the unemployment rate wasn’t as bad as the credit crunch, COVID-19 triggered the worst redundancy crisis since 2007. The time period of January to March 2020 saw 3,766 redundancies; a figure that was running in line with previous years. However, when COVID-19 struck, the number rose to a huge 14,438 during September to November 2020. The previous highest spike of redundancies was February to April 2009 with 12,200. As of December 2021 to February 2022, the number of UK redundancies reduced to 2,655, similar to pre-pandemic levels.
UK redundancies since 2017:
- Sep – Nov 2017: 4,033
- Sep – Nov 2018: 3,303
- Sep – Nov 2019: 4,154
- Sep – Nov 2020: 14,438
- Sep – Nov 2021: 2,786
- Dec 2021 – Feb 2022: 2,655
While 2020 saw the most redundancies in one month for over a decade, the high rate was incredibly short lived, and lasted for no more than a quarter. In fact, during March to May in 2021, there were only 3,750 redundancies.
Expert Payroll Writer said “With the world getting back on its feet post-pandemic and slowly recovering from the mass disruption of COVID-19, industries have had time to reflect and view the working world with a fresh lens. While COVID-19 brought mostly turbulence, solutions were found in the face of a crisis and it’s proof that in the face of trouble, people are resilient.”
“The UK unemployment and redundancy rate returning to pre-pandemic levels may be symptomatic of the movement towards flexible working through hybrid working, flexi hours and even the teetering possibility of a four-day week, allowing many workers to apply for jobs further afield that offer a flexible working set up.”