Financial Times: More than 1 million British workers will lose their jobs over the next 2 years

Brian Groom and Nicholas Timmins published an interesting article in today’s Financial Times. According to them, more than a million British workers will lose their jobs over the next two years as unemployment figures are expected to show a widespread rise in UK joblessness, taking the national total above 2 million.

Here are some other trends mentioned in the article:

  • Industrial production is falling faster than at any time since 1981, while financial services have so far escaped lightly.
  • Unemployment has risen fastest in the West Midlands, north of England and Wales. London gained 33,000 jobs in last year’s final quarter.
  • The pattern of job losses has forced Oxford Economics to tear up forecasts it made only a few months ago. It now foresees 1.3 million job losses from 2008 to 2010. While London and the south-east are expected to regain pre-recession employment levels within five years, it warns that the West Midlands, north-east and Wales may not have recovered within a decade.

As John Philpott, Chief Economist at the CIPD, commented on February reports, “the final quarter redundancies figure of 259,000 is fairly horrendous and suggests that the CIPD forecast of 300,000 redundancies in the first quarter of 2009 will, if anything, turn out to be an underestimate. The normal lag between redundancies being made and people joining the unemployment count also indicates that, whatever comfort might be taken from today’s jobless figures, unemployment remains on course to rise above 3 million before the economy recovers.”

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