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TUC – Britain “teetering on the brink of recession” as employment falls in majority of UK industries

UK money, coins and notes
  • 120,000 jobs lost across 11 industries between March and June
  • Union body warns that further interest rates hikes will put “many thousands of more jobs at risk”
  • Government must stop “hiding behind the Bank of England” and take responsibility for boosting growth, jobs and living standards

The TUC has today (Wednesday) warned that Britain is “teetering on the brink of recession” as new analysis shows that employment is falling in the majority of UK industries.

The analysis – of official statistics – shows that job numbers are contracting in 11 of the main 20 industry groups.

The industries with the biggest contraction in jobs are:

  • Accommodation and Food – where 34,000 jobs have been lost
  • Wholesale and retail – where 27,000 jobs have been lost
  • Construction – where 17,000 jobs have been lost

Across all 11 industries where employment has fallen a total of 120,000 jobs have been lost between March and June this year.

Rising unemployment

The union body says that while the total number of jobs across the economy as a whole has increased by 30,000 (between March and June) this shouldn’t mask the problems the majority of UK industries are facing.

The TUC highlighted separate figures from the ONS Labour Force Survey which show that unemployment increased by 274,000 between April and May – the steepest rise on the month since modern records began in 1992.

Recession risk

The TUC says “skyrocketing” interest rates have been a key driver behind the job losses – both pushing up costs for businesses and reducing the amount people have to spend in their local economies.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee are meeting this week and are expected to announce another hike in interest rates.

The TUC warned that with the UK on the precipice of another recession, a further increase in rates would “put tens of thousands more jobs at risk.”

The union body said that instead of “hiding behind” the Bank of England, the government should be coming up with a credible economic plan for boosting jobs, growth and pay.

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said:

“The government needs to deliver strong, shared growth, rather than an economy that is stagnating or shrinking.

“Ministers must stop hiding behind the Bank of England and come up with a credible plan for boosting jobs and living standards.

“With the country teetering on the brink of recession, the last thing we need is another hike in interest rates.

“This will just heap further misery on households and businesses and put many thousands more jobs and livelihoods at risk.

“Setting us on course for another economic shock is reckless – not responsible.”

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