To add to the pressures COVID-19 has brought about to our economy, almost half of employees have admitted that if they were to lose their job, they do not have any financial savings to fall back on.
Research conducted by Opinium, a strategic insight agency, has found that 49 per cent of workers have admitted they do not have any savings to fall back on if they were to be let go by their employer.
Also, 13.5 million or 42 per cent of workers would need to apply for Job Seekers Allowance or other benefits.
Almost two-fifths (39 per cent) of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have either closed temporarily or intend to close down in the next month. The virus has also led to 7 per cent of businesses closing down permanently with 12 per cent believe they will close down during the next month.
As well as under a quarter (23 per cent) of firms planning to make redundancies.
James Endersby, CEO at Opinium, said:
These are truly challenging times, which affect every single person in the UK. The vast majority have experienced changes to their employment or working routine, and unfortunately much of this has not been positive. Hopefully, the economic downturn won’t last forever but in the meantime it is crucial that employers do what they can to look after their staff, and for the government to provide guidance and support. We can only fight this crisis if we work together.
To make matters worse the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has stated that if the lockdown lasts for three months, unemployment will rise from 3.9 per cent to 10 per cent.
The OBR state that unemployment may rise from 2.1 million to 3.4 million by the end of June.
It stated that the sharp unemployment rise will occur this month, when it will reach 10 per cent, it is then predicted to decrease to 7.3 per cent by the end of 2020.
The body believes the unemployment rate will remain high until 2023.