Britain entered the coronavirus lockdown on 23 March and is set to take more than 6.5m jobs from the economy, a new study suggests.
The new study says this equates to a quarter of the UKs jobs, more than half of which are in the accommodation and food services.
This sector will suffer the worst with around 75.1% of jobs lost which equates to 1.3m positions across the UK.
Research by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex claim that the second ranked sector was “other services” at 50.2% ahead of “wholesale, retail and the repair of motor vehicles,” with 2m jobs lost, or 47.6%.
Job sectors that will most likely survive are public administration, defence, social security at 1.5%, real estate at 1.6%, and mining, energy and water supply at 2.7%, according to the study.
Other sectors showed an increase in their workforces which were, health and social work, with a 27.1% rise, and “professional, scientific and technical activities,” up by 3.4%.
Professor Matteo Richiardi, an expert on modelling labour markets who led the research, warned the risk of jobs being permanently lost depends on how long the coronavirus lockdown will last.v
Professor Richiardi told the Observer newspaper, “If this is short, say a few months, the links between employers and employees of affected industries might not be severed, and individual careers might not suffer too much.
“Under a longer lockdown, losses of human capital and scarring effects will occur. The economy will still bounce back, but at a higher cost for individuals.”
The Professor said the analysis confirms that a continued lockdown is economically unsustainable.
Professor Richiardi said, “This is why we need to make the most out of the extra time the lockdown is buying us, and increase our capacity to trace and isolate new cases, especially asymptomatic cases, so that the economy can be restarted before a vaccine is ready.”
He is urging the government to phase down the lockdown to allow the economy to heal, which can be reinstated again.
Adam Marshall, director general at the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) told Sky News, “Well, the cost here is in terms of people’s livelihoods.
“We’re seeing for example about 66%, two-thirds of businesses, telling us that they’re going to use the furlough scheme in order to try to get some support for their employees so that they don’t have to make them redundant or lay them off.
“That’s a really big number, and unless some of that cash flows through from the furlough scheme quickly when applications open tomorrow, a lot of businesses are going to face difficulty paying wages and paying suppliers.
“So, the human cost as well as the economic cost could be big if we don’t see support moving more quickly to the frontline.”
Marshall added, “We’ve found that about 60% of companies have less than three months’ cash in reserve, many who have seen their revenues fall off a cliff over the past month or so, and many of them are taking some really big life or death decisions as businesses.
“So, the support getting to the front line over the next few days is going to be absolutely critical.”