Commenting on ONS Labour Market statistics for May 2021 published today, BCC Head of Economics, Suren Thiru, said

“The decline in the unemployment rate and the rise in payroll employment is further confirmation that the UK jobs market is now more resilient to the ongoing restrictions. 

“Continued government support and the easing of restrictions as the UK moved to step two of the government’s roadmap helped drive higher payroll employment in April.  

“The rise in the number of job vacancies points to an encouraging upturn in demand for labour amid the gradual reopening of the economy and the strong vaccine rollout. 

“UK unemployment remains on track to peak at a much lower level than in recent recessions. However, the squeeze on business cash flow from any marked delay to the planned full reopening of the economy may trigger renewed job losses, particularly when furlough becomes less generous over the summer.  

“The economic scarring caused by coronavirus may drive a two-track jobs market recovery, with strong demand for labour in sectors where activity rebounds quickly, but with young people now entering the workforce and those whose lost their job during the pandemic at particular risk of longer-term unemployment.” 

“More interventions are likely to be needed to support the UK jobs market, including extending the kickstart scheme help protect young people from the risk of displacement from labour market.” 

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BCC reacts to latest Labour Market Figures