Labour market

What the P&O debacle really tells us about Brexit

It goes without saying that sacking your entire staff via a ten-minute video call while their cheaper, foreign replacements sit outside in buses is a pretty disgusting way to treat people. True, P&O’s cross-Channel operation has been rendered unprofitable as a result of Covid, but this wasn’t a case of a headcount reduction or management urging pay restraint until the company can get back on its feet again. It was a wholesale dismissal of workers, plenty of whom will have had decades of service. No wonder some refused to leave their ships. How ironic, however, that so many of the biggest critics of P&O this week are ardent Remainers. What

Why we should worry about the post-Covid exodus of older workers

Concerns around unemployment during the pandemic have, understandably, been focused on younger people. Last year it was under-24 year olds most likely to be furloughed and then subsequently made unemployed when coming off the government’s scheme. For millions, the fate of their jobs remains on the line, as unemployment is expected to rise over the course of the year (albeit far less than originally predicted), even as the economy rebounds when lockdown restrictions lift. But today the Office for National Statistics flags another concern; one that could potentially have a bigger impact on the labour market’s recovery post-pandemic. While the youngest have experienced a substantial economic hit from the virus,

Britain’s unemployment crisis is closing in

Unemployment is creeping up. For months it remained stagnant, as the combination of the furlough scheme and people keeping out of the jobs market kept the rate deceptively low. But over the past few months, it has started to increase, with today’s labour market overview from the Office for National Statistics revealing a 4.5 per cent unemployment rate — the highest level in three years. There’s a sliver of hope in today’s data, which shows job vacancies are up Still, at first glance you’d expect the unemployment rate to be much worse. After the largest economic contraction in three hundred years, an increase from 3.9 per cent at the start