With the uncertainty of when national lockdowns are going to end and many businesses closing, the nation continues to live in fear of losing their jobs with the Christmas holidays just around the corner.
2020 has not gone the way any of us wanted or even expected at all. For so many people this year has been full of anxiety, uncertainty and loneliness. If someone came up to us in the beginning of this year and told us that we would be spending the majority of this year stuck in our homes, we would think they were absolutely bonkers. Now, just about half way through our second national lockdown and rumors of potential extension, people are feeling more anxious than ever before. Not knowing when we are going to see the light at the end of this coronavirus filled tunnel, is so terrifying for us all.
Emma and Gareth, both in their 50’s, lost their full time jobs in the early stages of the first national lockdown in March. Following a 5 month long job search for the both of them, they finally managed to get employment in a Coronavirus Testing Site. Both Emma and Gareth suffer with underlying health conditions, but were left with no choice but to accept the jobs in the testing site. “We didn’t have a choice, it was a last resort job for us due to the risk but after 5 months on constant searching, what choice are you really left with?” says Emma. “We’re still actively looking, but with no sign of the virus ending anytime soon and lockdowns happening all the time, there isn’t much secure employment out there” she continued.
At the end of last year Emma and Gareth both started new jobs for a small removals company. Following the pandemic, the business had to make some cuts. Due to the short period of time that Emma and Gareth worked there, they were one of the first ones to go. “It was supposed to be a fresh start for the both of us, more money, more time to go away on holiday, we definitely didn’t expect for it to end so suddenly” says Gareth. “We’re grateful we have found jobs now, despite it not being the safest place for us, we’re looking after ourselves the best we can. We just can’t help but think of those who were in the same boat as us and haven’t been able to get out of it yet” continued Gareth.
Emma and Gareth’s daughter has recently moved back home from London after losing her dream job which she landed after graduating from university last year. Due to the high rent rates in London and the unpaid rent bill adding up, she had no choice but to move back home with her parents following a 3 month job search. “She was so happy landing her dream job so soon after graduating, she started a new life in London, new house, new friends and all of that was suddenly over for her as well” said Emma. “As a mum, I felt so helpless, with not much income coming in for me and Gareth and having our own bills coming out, there was nothing we could really do to support her other than moving her back down here” continued Emma.
This is the story of just one family. Following the Coronavirus pandemic, the UK unemployment rate has increased dramatically compared to previous months. Currently there are 1.62 million people out of work in the UK. With a large number of the economy closed again for a second national lockdown, this figure is expected to continue rising over the coming months.