Gerwyn Davies, Senior Labour Market Adviser at the CIPD, comments on the labour market statistics for the period February-April 2020 published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS):
“The UK is clearly entering a major employment crisis. While the rise in the claimant count is set to grab most attention, the most worrying feature of these latest job figures is the record fall in the number of vacancies in the UK economy. The private sector is unable to create enough jobs due to a lack of demand for products and services, which bodes ill for the remainder of the year as the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) unwinds, unless business conditions improve very significantly over the rest of the summer.
” Jobseekers will therefore face an increasingly uphill task in finding work, which points to the need for more policy interventions that are targeted at both helping young unemployed people into work and supporting individuals to upskill and re-skill. With real pay growth also falling, the current situation is clearly making this a challenging time economically for those workers who are lucky enough to remain in employment. The consolation from this morning’s figures is that the fall in unemployment has undershot the consensus of forecasts, which highlights the effectiveness of the JRS.”