Almost a third of the country’s lowest-paid workers have been furloughed or lost their jobs altogether, a new study suggests.
The Resolution Foundation said a survey of 6,000 adults showed that Britain’s lowest-paid employees are paying the heaviest economic price in the current crisis.
Among the lowest-paid fifth of earners before the crisis, 5% have lost their job, and a further 25% have been furloughed, said the report. In contrast, less than one in 10 of the top fifth of earners have lost work or been furloughed.
Across the workforce as a whole, almost one in five workers have lost work or been furloughed, including one in four private sector employees, said the research organisation.
Its report showed how important the government’s job retention scheme (JRS) has been in preventing mass unemployment and an even bigger living standards hit to struggling families.
Almost one in eight workers think they’ll lose their jobs in the coming three months, while one in four believe their hours will be reduced, the study indicated.
Hannah Slaughter, of the Resolution Foundation, said:
The lowest-paid workers and those with the most insecure work are bearing the brunt of Britain’s economic crisis.
Close to a third of our lowest-paid employees have already lost their jobs or been furloughed since the crisis began. Thankfully, the majority are having their earnings protected by the Government’s retention scheme. Nonetheless, their job prospects over the coming months are highly uncertain.
Slaughter went on to say:
…the jobs crisis is far from over, with around one in seven workers still fearing they could lose their jobs in the coming months.
We now need to see new measures – including job guarantees for young people – to tackle the high levels of joblessness that are likely to be with us long after the pandemic has subsided.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?