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Millennials hit hardest as unemployment rises to 5%

Unemployment has risen to 5% from 4.9% with 1.72 million out of work, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. ONS deputy chief executive Sam Beckett told the BBC that "the number of workers on payroll have fallen by over 828,000 since the pandemic began."

Those aged 25 to 34 face the biggest risk of losing their jobs, with a redundancy rate of 16.2 per 1,000 for those in this age group. "We've currently got over 4.5 million people on the furlough scheme, so that does complicate the picture when you're trying to interpret what's going on in the labour market," added Beckett.

ONS data reveals that redundancies rose to a record high of 14.2 per 1,000 people across all age groups but job vacancies have also increased, with 81,000 new openings reported in the last three months.

Vacancies rising

James Reed, chairman of REED, said: “Last week, the total number of jobs posted on was 4% higher than the same period in 2020 – which is particularly impressive considering the pandemic hadn’t started by then. Additionally, nearly 100,000 jobs went live on our site during the first two weeks of this lockdown – 10% and 101% higher than the same period in the second and first lockdown respectively.

“Existing sectors such as IT & Telecoms, Education, and Social Care currently have the most job opportunities. We currently have 895 COVID-19 related and vaccination roles on, stretching from COVID Marshall to community vaccinator. I urge anyone seeking employment to consider their skillset and apply to help fight against the pandemic.”

New research from Apsco reveals that firms are increasingly investing in flexible senior talent, with interim vacancies up 45.1% quarter on quarter. The data, compiled by Vacancysoft, also found that interim vacancies dropped by 8.3% across England & Wales compared to 2019, with a sharper fall in London at -9.1% year-on-year. However, the South East saw a 5.4% rise in job postings year-on-year, while the North West saw vacancies rise 11.8%.

The telecoms and tech sector performed particularly well – with year-on-year increases of 55.2% and 39.8% respectively. Across the companies hiring for interims in 2020, Amazon topped the employer table with over 170 new vacancies – a 195% year-on-year increase. AstraZeneca also posted 31.1% more roles in 2020 compared to 2019. EY took the biggest hit out of the Top 10 companies, with its interim employment falling by 60.4% year-on-year.

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