Nearly three in 10 firms cut jobs due to pandemic before the lockdown even kicked in

Support us and go ad-free

Almost three in 10 businesses cut jobs in the face of the coronavirus pandemic prior to the lockdown, according to official statisticians.

The Office for National Statistics said 29% of the 4,598 businesses it surveyed said they had to temporarily reduce staff numbers during the period from March 9 to March 22.

It added that 40% of businesses surveyed said they were confident they could continue operating during the pandemic, based on their experience over the same period, which was before the Government-mandated lockdown.

The survey also revealed that 47% of firms reported that their turnover was lower than normal for the period.

Businesses in the accommodation and food service sectors were particularly hard hit, with 90% of these firms reporting turnover below the norm.

Online price change of high-demand products
(PA Graphics)

Read on...

Manufacturing, retail and administration firms also reported lower than average turnover.

Meanwhile, firms in the professional services and communication sectors said that turnover was largely unaffected over the period.

The ONS also revealed that the online prices for high-demand products increased by 1.5% in the week starting March 30, compared to the previous week.

It reported a 6.2% rise in the price of pet food, while items such as nappies, tinned soup, long-life milk and pasta also saw price increases.

However, some products saw prices fall, such as cough medicine and rice, which saw the average price fall by 11.7%.

It also revealed that visits to UK ports dived 12.5% in the week starting March 23 on the back of falling business orders, in the ONS’s latest weekly update on the economic impact of coronavirus.

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us