The UK’s jobless rate rose to 5.1% in the three months to December 2020, with 726,000 fewer employees on company payrolls than before the pandemic levels. Almost three-fifths of those losing their jobs were 25 and under. Young people have borne the brunt of the shutdown of bars, restaurants and the wider reaches of the travel, hospitality and retail sectors.
The government’s furlough scheme has helped protect many workers from losing their jobs. There were still around 6 million workers on furlough at the start of February 2021, but many of them face an uncertain future knowing the scheme is likely to come to an end soon.
All in all, there are a lot of people looking for a new job in an economy where many industries are struggling. The number of new jobs being advertised is rising but is still 26% below where it was a year ago.