According to official figures, approximately 695,000 British employees have been removed from the payroll of British companies since March, when the coronavirus blockade began.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the unemployment rate increased as an additional 36,000 jobs fell off the payroll nationwide.
Meanwhile, in the three months to July, unemployment has risen by 104,000 to 1.4 million.
It said the unemployment rate therefore rose to 4.1%, in line with analysts’ expectations.
Darren Morgan, ONS’s director of economic statistics, said: “Some of the effects of the pandemic on the labor market started to wane in July as parts of the economy reopened.
“Fewer workers were away on leave and the average number of hours increased.
“The number of vacancies continued to recover in August.
But now that the number of employees on the payroll fell again in August and both unemployment and layoffs soared in July, it is clear that the coronavirus is still having a major impact on the world of work. ‘
The numbers come as Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer makes a fresh call to ministers to take new measures to protect jobs when the coronavirus leave program comes to an end.
In a speech at TUC’s annual congress on Tuesday, Sir Keir will warn that communities across the country will face the “scarring of mass unemployment” if the government doesn’t act.
He will offer to work with ministers to develop a “truly national plan” to protect jobs when the scheme closes in late October.
The Labor leader will be giving his speech online, rather than addressing the London delegates in person, as he is isolating himself after a member of his household develops possible Covid-19 symptoms.
The state has supported about 9.6 million jobs through the leave scheme since the country shut down in March.
While Labor has said it accepts that the leave scheme cannot be continued indefinitely, Sir Keir will argue that with “a little imagination” the government can continue to help those most at risk of losing their jobs.
He will urge ministers to target sectors under the greatest pressure – including aviation and retail, as well as businesses in areas affected by local lockdowns.
Sir Keir will also call for the expansion of part-time work – rewarding employers who give people hours rather than cut jobs – and provide training and support for those unable to enter full-time work.
“At this moment of national crisis, we need to draw inspiration from our past,” he is expected to say.
“Be willing to put aside party differences and cooperate in the interest of the country.
“Imagine how powerful it would be if we could develop a truly national plan to protect jobs, create new ones and invest in skills and training?
“I’m making an open offer to the Prime Minister – work with us to keep millions of people in work.”
Sir Keir will also call on ministers to ban “layoffs and recruitments” – when people are given notice and then hired on worse terms.
“These tactics punish good employers, hit working people hard and harm our economy,” he should say.
“After a decade of wage moderation, that’s the last thing working people need, and in the midst of a deep recession, it’s the last thing our economy needs.”
A spokesperson for HM Treasury said, “We already have a national plan to not only protect jobs, but create new ones – and we are implementing it now.
“Thousands of young people will take their first steps into work this fall through our £ 2 billion Kickstart program and our up to £ 9 billion job retention bonus will help companies get those on leave back to work. “