Jewish charities warn of Covid-19’s economic toll as UK enters recession
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Jewish charities warn of Covid-19’s economic toll as UK enters recession

Employment charities report rise in demand for services after new figures reveal 730,000 job losses since the start of the lockdown

A Jobcentre Plus in London pictured earlier this year (Credit: PA Wire/PA Images Yui Mok)
A Jobcentre Plus in London pictured earlier this year (Credit: PA Wire/PA Images Yui Mok)

Jewish employment charities warned of Covid-19’s economic toll on the community, as the UK nosedives into its “largest recession on record.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed on Tuesday around 730,000 people lost their jobs since the start of the lockdown and reported the biggest quarterly drop in employment since May to July 2009.

Resource chief executive Victoria Sterman said the charity “cannot remember a period that has been as tough as this one. ”

She told of “far ranging consequences to so many people’s mental and physical health” and predicted “we will be feeling the effects of these for years to come.”

Resource, she added, has seen a “huge” spike in demand for support from job seekers and is ramping up services.

Meanwhile, Work Avenue said the “real litmus test” will come after the government winds down its furlough scheme later this year.

The job retention scheme supports approximately 9.6 million people and is due to end in October.

“We have definitely seen an increase in clients needing support to find their next job,” the charity said.

“Some are worried they might be made redundant at the end of the furlough scheme whilst others are already going through the consultation process so we know that they are going to be redundancies”.

But Work Avenue said a number of employers have resumed hiring and suggested flexible work may offer more opportunities.

“Our own jobs board has now got more vacancies on it than it has in the last few months, doubling the number of jobs it had on it at the beginning of lockdown,” the charity said.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the ONS data confirms “that hard times are here” and warned that “many more” will lose their jobs in the coming months.

But he struck a more positive note as he told of some “promising signs” for the economy, which jumped by 8.7 percent in June.

ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow said: “The economy began to bounce back in June, with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and house-building continuing to recover.

“Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck.”

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