Following yesterdays announcement of the ONS labour market stats, the staffing industry reacts;
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), responded:
“There are clear signs in this morning’s data that the real impact of COVID-19 on the labour market is starting to appear. The number of people in paid employment continues to fall, and redundancies have started to spike. There will be more in the coming months. The rise in unemployment for young people is also a particular concern, given the long-term effects youth unemployment can have. One bright point is the continued rise in vacancies, but while there are always jobs being created, businesses need quick, targeted help in order to keep staff on and boost hiring. Cutting employers’ National Insurance contributions would be one way to do this.
“It is important that we also focus on measures that will affect the economy in the long-term, as well as the short-term. Smooth trade relations with the EU are essential for the stability of the UK economy and the prosperity of many important industries – the government must secure a Brexit deal that allows this to continue.”
James Reed, Chairman of Reed comments;
“In May, I predicted the UK was facing a tsunami of job losses when the furlough scheme ends, and today’s ONS figures suggest the wave is set to crash through the economy this autumn.
“Although these statistics will cause concern, now is not the time to panic and extend the furlough scheme. It’s time for the country to move on. Businesses need to level with their furloughed staff about their future as soon as they are able to. People are facing uncertainty over whether their jobs will exist once the furlough scheme winds down, and are in need of assurances either way. They must be allowed to move on, learn new skills, and begin searching for a new employer.
“The good news is that job opportunities are remerging. Over 128,000 new jobs were added onto reed.co.uk in August – a 7.5% month-on-month increase – and opportunities increased in nearly all the sectors featured on the site.
“Business leaders should also remember that this is a fantastic time to hire. There is an abundance of talent available, with many being able to start immediately. Despite these uncertain times, some businesses will see an opportunity to invest in people and take advantage of this situation. The forward thinking can hire talent that would not normally be available.”