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Future of Work

Younger people continue to bear the brunt of the jobs crisis amid widespread cuts in sectors such as hospitality, official figures show.

In the year to March, 811,000 payroll jobs were lost in the UK, with under-35s accounting for 80% of these cuts. The data also showed the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9% in the three months to February – down from 5% previously. This was despite most of the UK being under strict lockdown rules for at least some of the period.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) said the jobs market “remains subdued”, with five million people employed but still on furlough. ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said:

“The latest figures suggest that the jobs market has been broadly stable in recent months after the major shock of last spring. The number of people on payroll fell slightly in March after a few months of growth. “There are, though, over 800,000 fewer employees than before the pandemic struck, and with around five million people employed but still on furlough, the labour market remains subdued. “However, with the prospect of businesses reopening, there was a marked rise in job vacancies in March, especially in sectors such as hospitality.”

‘Finding work feels impossible for my generation’

Overall, some 1.67 million people were unemployed between December and February. That is down 50,000 on the previous quarter but still 311,000 higher than a year ago. But the ONS said young people continued to bear the brunt of the crisis, amid large-scale job losses in sectors such as hospitality and retail. According to the ONS, people aged under 35 accounted for 635,000 payroll jobs lost in the year to March, with 436,000 of those positions held by people under 25.

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