Employment levels defy economic gravity for now

The CIPD responds to the latest labour market statistics from the ONS

Official labour market figures published earlier today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are better than expected, including a modest fall in employment and a modest rise in unemployment. However, the figures are at odds with other economic indicators, especially the record fall in the demand for workers, which will undoubtedly spell much tougher times ahead for the UK labour market according to the CIPD. 

Gerwyn Davies, Senior Labour Market Adviser, comments: 

“The jobs market appears resilient on the surface, owing largely to a modest rise in redundancies. However, the sting in the tail is the record fall in demand for workers - especially in the worst-affected sectors such as accommodation and food services - and the sharp drop in the number of hours worked. The situation can only deteriorate rapidly over the rest of the summer and into the autumn as young people enter the labour market.  

“It’s clear that the recent measures to support jobs and boost youth employment announced by the Chancellor don’t go far enough given the unemployment crisis on the horizon. More support will be needed beyond the Job Retention Bonus and, as a first step, the Government needs to consider extending the Job Retention Scheme in the worst-hit sectors until at least December. 

“We would also urge employers to only make redundancies as a last resort and explore all other options first. This could include restricting over-time, cutting bonuses and deferring salary increases.” 

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