The UK’s unemployment rate is predicted to reach 15% following the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

James Reed, head of the UK’s largest recruitment firm, Reed, has suggested that up to five million people could be unemployed.

Speaking BBC’s Today programme, Reed said that recent announcements from companies around job cuts were “the tip of the iceberg”.

“My concern is that the data that we’re seeing, which is that the number of jobs advertised is down two-thirds and has been consistently for two months now, suggests that there could be a lot more job losses to come,” he said.

He has suggested unemployment rates will be the highest in October when the government’s furlough scheme is set to end.

“It’s very difficult for those businesses to re-employ all the people they’ve got furloughed. So I’m dreading this day of reckoning where they decide they’re not going to do that and a lot more people will become unemployed” said Reed.

8.7 million employees are currently on the scheme.

Earlier this week, Boris Johnson braced the nation for “many job losses” as the economic impacts of the pandemic are set to emerge.

This week has seen a number of companies axe UK jobs due to Coronavirus impacts. Car manufacturers Lookers (LON: LOOK) and Aston Martin are planning to cut hundreds of jobs and offer voluntary redundancies to hundreds of UK staff.

The Restaurant Group (LON: RTN) has said it plans to close 120 of its Frankie & Benny’s restaurants.



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Safiya focuses on business and political stories for UK Investor Magazine. Her interests include international development, travel and politics.