The UK employment rate in the three months to February 2020 was estimated at a record high of 76.6%, 0.4 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.2 percentage points up on the previous quarter.
The UK unemployment rate for the three months to February 2020 was estimated at 4.0%, largely unchanged compared with a year earlier and 0.1 percentage point higher than the previous quarter.
Molly Johnson-Jones, co-founder of Flexa, the UK’s first job platform dedicated exclusively to flexible working said, “There is a sense of ‘what might have been’ with these labour statistics, which boast of a record high 76.6% employment rate that is simply unimaginable now.
“We are living in a changed world, and this data is a historic relic that bears no comparison with our new reality. While we enter this crisis in a strong position, there is no indication yet of how bad things will get.
“Upcoming labour market releases will introduce a new term, ‘furloughed’. Millions of people will be in this limbo – employed and salaried, but unsure of when they might return to work and whether there will be a job to return to.
“Applications to fund the wages for one million workers were received by the Government yesterday. Until the labour statistics reflect this new form of employment, the picture this labour market data paints will be only a distant memory of times before corona.”