White collar jobs carnage at Christmas: FIFTH of UK bosses expect to axe up to 10% of workers by end of year - with office staff in legal and health among hardest hit
A fifth of business bosses in the UK believe they will need to axe up to 10 per cent of their workforce by the end of the year, amid fears hundreds of thousands more people are set to become victims of the coronavirus jobs bloodbath, a new survey has revealed.
Bosses of large (more than 250 employees) and medium (50-249 staff) businesses, firms in the hospitality sector and those in Scotland and Wales were most likely to make the biggest cuts, with some warning of cuts of up to 60 per cent of their workforce, the YouGov figures reveal.
The data reveals nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of education-based businesses could also make cuts of between 20 and 29 per cent of their workforce by the New Year, while a third of bosses at legal firms across the UK believe they will have to cut up to 10 per cent of their staff.
Almost a quarter of bosses involved in white collar industries such as media and marketing, medical and health services and finance and accounting also believe they will have to make 10 per cent cuts to their workforce by the end of 2020, the survey results show.
But the outlook was better for microbusinesses (between one and ten employees), where 70 per cent said they did not plan cuts, while the retail industry, hit by months of loss of trade during lockdown, also led the way in terms of bosses not planning cuts.
It comes as figures yesterday revealed how hundreds of thousands of people had already lost their jobs following the coronavirus outbreak, with the number of UK redundancies now rising at its fastest rate since the 2008 financial crisis, as unemployment surged to 1.5million.
Guide to the graphs on the right: Each bar represents a type of industry or business type. Each colour represents the size of the cut - from none to 90-100 per cent and those who don't know. The larger the size of the bar, the more bosses in that sector or type of business plan to make that level of cut. For example, almost 70 per cent of micro-businesses believe they won't make cuts, represented by a large green bar.
The survey figures, which come from a YouGov poll of1,108 of key decision makers at GB businesses, who answered in the last week of September, show21 per cent believe they will have to cut around 10 per cent of their workforce ahead of the New Year.
The figure was even higher among bosses at large businesses (more than 250 people), 26 per cent of whom said they believed they would have to cut around 10 per cent of their workforce by the end of December.
Five percent said they would have to axe a third (between 30-39 per cent) of their workforce by the end of 2020, while one per cent suggested that the whole business could go altogether.
Within medium businesses (50-249 employees), four per cent of bosses said they would have to lay off at least 50 per cent of employees - matching the response by micro-business owners (less than 10 employees) and double the 2 per cent of small business owners (10 to 49 employees).
Across sectors, hospitality and leisure, an industry which suffered months of lost trade during the first coronavirus lockdown, has the most worrying figures.
Two per cent of hospitality business owners said they could lose 90 to 100 per cent of their workforce by Christmas, while seven per cent said they could cut half or more (50-59 per cent) of their workforce by Christmas.
The nearest industries to that were retail, finance and accounting, media and advertising, as well as transportation, all of which three per cent of businesses bosses said they could cut half of more of their workforce by the end of the year.
Around 15 per cent of hospitality business owners said they could slash around a quarter of their workforce in the coming months.
But it was in the legal industry where most small cuts could be made, with 32 per cent of bosses saying they could axe between one and nine per cent of their workforce by the end of December.
Others planning small cuts (between one and per cent) include in the medical and health industry (25 per cent), transportation and distribution (26 per cent) and real estate (26 per cent).
In terms of regions, it was Wales and Scotland who both face the risk of the biggest cuts, according to the survey.
Four per cent of business chiefs in Wales warned they could cut between 70-79 per cent of their workforce by the end of the year, matched only be the North East (also 4 per cent), while five per cent said they could cut between 50-59 per cent - followed by Scotland (four per cent) and the West Midlands (four per cent).
In terms of small cuts (between one and nine per cent), the highest was in the West Midlands, where 27 per cent of business chiefs said they could make the cuts by the end of 2020, followed Yorkshire and Humberside (22 per cent) and the coronavirus-hit North West (20 per cent).
The East of England was the region highest for business bosses warning they could axe all of their employees, while it was in the East and West Midlands where most business bosses warned they could make cuts of between 30 and 49 per cent.
However London was far from immune, with 14 per cent of businesses saying they could make cuts of between one and nine per cent in the lead up to Christmas, while 10 per cent said they could cut between 10 and 19 per cent.
Companies aged between five and 10 years old and those with histories longer than 25 years were most likely to make cuts, according to the survey.
Using data from the pll, hospitality jobs in established businesses in Wales or Scotland are most of risk of large cuts, while legal firms in the West Midlands, London or the South east were most likely to make small cuts (between one to nine per cent of the workforce).
Other areas raised in the survey include the thoughts of business chiefs over the government's support of firms.
Around half (48 per cent) believe the government has done enough to support firms through the pandemic, but 42 per cent believed it was not enough.
Of those, the largest group were small businesses bosses (45 per cent), followed by micro-businesses, 44 per cent of which say the support they have received from the government hasn't been enough.
Meanwhile, a quarter of bosses from small businesses surveyed warned it could take up to two years to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
The figure was around 20 per cent for medium and large businesses.
The results of the survey came as yesterday it was revealed that the number of UK redundancies has risen at its fastest rate since the 2008 financial crisis, as unemployment surged to 1.5million.
Figures by the Office of National Statistics show 156,000 were made redundant in the three months to July - an increase of 48,000 from the three months to the end of May, and the sharpest quarterly rise since 2009 -when Britain was in the grip of the global financial crisis.
英国国家统计局(Office Of National Statistics)的数据显示，在截至7月份的3个月里，裁员15.6万人-比截至5月底的3个月增加了4.8万人，是自2009年以来最大的季度增长-当时英国正处于全球金融危机之中。
In the three months to August, the number of jobless people rose by 138,000 quarter on quarter to 1.52million in the three months to August - the highest since 2017. The unemployment rate rose to 4.5 per cent, from 4.1 per cent in the prior three months.
The Office for National Statistics added that the number of UK workers on company payrolls fell by 673,000 between March and September, despite edging up by 20,000 last month.
英国国家统计局(Office For National Statistics)补充说，尽管上个月增加了2万人，但公司工资单上的英国工人人数在3月至9月期间减少了67.3万人。
The FTSE 100 index of Britain's leading companies was down 0.6 per cent or 35 points to 5,967 yesterday following the news, which added to concerns about the economic impact of new coronavirus-led business restrictions.
ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow said: 'Since the start of the pandemic there has been a sharp increase in those out of work and job-hunting but more people telling us they are not actively looking for work.
'There has also been a stark rise in the number of people who have recently been made redundant.'
Experts warned that unemployment will continue to ramp up as the Government's furlough programme comes to an end, with firms having to start making a 10 per cent contribution to the costs of staff on the scheme last month.
The scheme will come to an end on October 31. But there was a small dose of cheer as the data showed a sign of recovery in vacancies, which surged by a record 144,000 to 488,000 between July and September.
Despite this, vacancies still remain below pre-coronavirus levels and 40.5 per cent lower than a year earlier.
The ONS also said regular pay, excluding bonuses, grew by 0.8 per cent in the three months to August, although average total pay, including bonuses, was unchanged.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak insisted the Government's Plan for Jobs would help protect employment and 'ensure nobody is left without hope'.
'I've been honest with people from the start that we would unfortunately not be able to save every job,' he said. 'But these aren't just statistics, they are people's lives.
'That's why trying to protect as many jobs as possible and helping those who lose their job back into employment is my absolute priority.'
But businesses and economists said they are braced for mounting job losses, in spite of the Chancellor's follow-up worker support schemes.
Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: 'The Job Support Scheme will do little to hold back the tide of redundancies.
'We continue to expect the headline rate of unemployment to shoot up over the coming months.'
Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: 'With the furlough scheme unwinding, cash-strapped firms have been forced into difficult decisions about retaining their staff.
'Demand remains weak and as restrictions ramp up again many businesses will be stretched when it comes to paying wage bills.
'The Job Support Scheme may need to be beefed up if the Government wants to avert further rises in unemployment.'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a new system of restrictions for England yesterday and a minister said government may have to go further.
The Confederation of British Industry said ramping up the government's testing regime will be a key component to securing an economic recovery.
英国工业联合会(ConFederation Of British Industry)表示，加强政府的检测制度将是确保经济复苏的关键组成部分。
The Bank of England has forecast that the unemployment rate will hit 7.5 per cent by the end of the year.
But BoE Governor Andrew Bailey yesterday repeated his warning that the economy could prove weaker than the central bank's forecasts.
Britain's economy grew in August at its slowest pace since May as its bounce-back from the lockdown slowed.
Tom Pickersgill, chief executive of Orka, which provides a platform for shift workers, said: 'Almost a million people have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic and, given the latest lockdown measures, this number could climb again in the coming months.
'While this is a terrible situation for so many to be in, the picture of the job market isn't completely black and white and there are some opportunities out there.
'Permanent 9-5-style roles are going to take time to recover to pre-Covid levels, but we're also going to see a spike in temporary job opportunities as businesses favour flexibility in their approach to hiring.'
Scores of companies in Britain have announced plans to cut jobs since the pandemic struck.
Last week the owner of clothing retailers Edinburgh Woollen Mills, Peacock's and Jaeger put 24,000 jobs at risk by saying it was set for administration.
上周，服装零售商爱丁堡毛纺厂(Edinburgh Woollen Mills)、孔雀百货(Peacock‘s)和积家(Jaeger)的所有者表示，该公司即将进入破产管理程序，这让2.4万个工作岗位面临风险。
Rebecca McDonald, senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: 'With redundancies increasing sharply even before the national furlough scheme is fully unwound, today's figures are a stark reminder that this crisis still has a long way to run.
约瑟夫·朗特里基金会(Joseph Rowntree Foundation)高级经济学家丽贝卡·麦克唐纳(Rebecca McDonald)表示：“在国家休假计划完全解除之前，裁员人数就大幅增加，今天的数据鲜明地提醒人们，这场危机还有很长的路要走。”
'This is not the time for half measures: the government can still act quickly and decisively to prevent a wave of unemployment that will hit the poorest hardest.
'And those who have already lost their jobs should be able to rely on a properly funded benefits system and given the opportunity to gain the skills they need to get back into work.'
Today the International Monetary Fund warned the Covid crisis will blow a 21trillion hole in the world economy and inflict 'lasting damage' on living standards.
After the total death toll from the pandemic climbed above a million victims, the Washington-based watchdog yesterday spelled out the devastating global impact of the virus on the economy.
In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF predicted the crisis would leave financial scars for years while the recovery would be 'long, uneven and uncertain'.
IMF在其最新的“世界经济展望”(World Economic Outlook)中预测，这场危机将在数年内留下金融伤疤，而复苏将是“漫长、不平衡和不确定的”。
It also forecast the total loss in output triggered by the pandemic will hit $28trillion (21trillion) by the middle of the decade.
This is a dent worth more than the size of the US economy, the largest in the world.
Gita Gopinath, chief economist at the IMF, said this 'represents a severe setback to the improvement in average living standards across all country groups'.
She added: 'This crisis will likely leave scars well into the medium term as labour markets take time to heal, investment is held back by uncertainty and balance sheet problems and lost schooling impairs human capital.
'All countries are now facing what I would call The Long Ascent – a difficult climb that will be long, uneven, and uncertain. And prone to setbacks.
'The path ahead is clouded with extraordinary uncertainty. Faster progress on health measures, such as vaccines and therapies, could speed up the ascent. But it could also get worse, especially if there is a significant increase in severe outbreaks.'
Despite all this, the IMF has become marginally more optimistic since the summer, predicting the global economy will shrink 4.4 per cent this year.
This marks an improvement on the 5.2 per cent contraction it predicted in its last World Economic Outlook in June.
这标志着与其在6月份发布的上一份“世界经济展望”(World Economic Outlook)中预测的萎缩5.2%相比，情况有所改善。
The upgrade reflects both that the recession in the second quarter was not quite as severe as previously feared, and that economies around the world have bounced back more quickly than expected as lockdowns have been lifted.
But even a 4.4 per cent contraction would still amount to the worst worldwide slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Fund said.
The IMF also warned the recovery would be slightly slower than it had previously thought, amid a spike in infections and a fresh wave of lockdowns and restrictions to slow the spread.