Today’s unemployment figures are skewed because the government’s furlough scheme still is in place, according to North East recruitment expert Patrick Lonergan.
The owner and manager of Patrick Lonergan Recruitment warns the monthly jobless statistics will not reflect the full impact of the Covid crisis until January, assuming the job retention scheme wraps up at the end of October as expected.
Official figures released today show that the unemployment rate grew to 4.1% between May and July, compared with 3.9% previously. Employment fell, but only slightly, by 12,000 to 32.98 million.
Mr Lonergan, whose business is based at Newton Aycliffe, said: “At the moment there are highs and lows depending on which sector you are looking at.
“The IT sector was able to increase jobs as a substantial number of businesses needed extra support to enable staff to work from home.
“Whereas the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit, but it could have been worse were it not for the chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative.
“The full effect of Covid-19 on jobs is unlikely to become apparent until the New Year because the government’s job retention scheme is not due to end until October and the brunt will not be felt immediately as redundancies take time to process.”