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Report highlights the hidden effects of job losses

The impact of the recession on workers has been “much deeper” than official unemployment figures showed, with more than 1.3 million people losing their job since the start of the downturn, according to a new report today.

A study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) showed that two-thirds of people made redundant were paid an average of 28% less when they managed to find another job.

There were 6.2 million fresh claims for jobseeker's allowance between April 2008 and November 2009 — 7.5 times the rise in the unemployment claimant count during the recession, highlighting the degree to which many people were struggling to find permanent jobs, said the report.

The research revealed that 1.31 million people were made redundant during the recession — double the fall in employment and equivalent to 4.4% of people in work before the downturn.

Dr John Philpott, the CIPD's chief economic adviser said: “Although the scale of job loss in the recession is much less than originally feared and much less than might have been expected given the scale of the contraction in the economy, it is evident that the direct experience of redundancy, repeat spells of unemployment and pay penalties has nonetheless been widespread.”

Employment Minister Jim Knight said: “Every job loss is a tragedy. We have invested £5 billion to find people jobs in this recession — which the Tories opposed. What the figures in the report highlight is that thousands of people have found work very quickly through jobcentres, with 70% of people leaving unemployment benefit within six months.

“As a result there are 450,000 fewer people currently unemployed than predicted in the last budget.

“We will continue to invest in jobs, skills and training to support everyone looking for work.”

Belfast Telegraph