Although ONS labour market statistics show a steady jobs market between December 2019 and February 2020, the REC warns that the situation is very different in reality.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) recent Report on Jobs covering 12th– 25th March, revealed the quickest decline of permanent and temporary staff placements since 2009, offering an insight into how the jobs market is performing during the pandemic.
Tom Hadley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at the REC, commented, “Everything has changed since these statistics were collected. The inevitable impact of COVID-19 on the UK Labour market can be seen in the REC’s Report on Jobs which shows the quickest drop in permanent and temporary staff placements since the global financial crash. The decline is particularly steep in sectors like retail, hospitality and construction. Demand in sectors like logistics and healthcare on the other hand have peaked and the recruitment industry is working with government and other bodies to place staff into key worker roles quickly and help the country through the coronavirus crisis.”
Hadley added, “What today’s ONS figures do show is that the fundamentals of our jobs market are sound. This will help us to bounce back post-crisis. How quickly this happens depends on the steps government takes now to protect businesses. The package of support on offer is considerable but it needs to be accessible to businesses quickly to manage the cashflow crisis and protect jobs.”
According to the REC, the UK’s economic recovery will all depend on how businesses are supported during this time.
CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Neil Carberry, explained, “It’s no surprise the government has extended the lockdown as we have not yet passed the peak. This decision is necessary to protect lives. The economy will bounce back, but making sure this happens quickly depends on how we protect businesses in this extended period. Making sure businesses can access financial support quickly and easily is essential. Expanding government support for statutory sick pay would also help ensure businesses are in a good place to support prosperity and aid recovery when we reopen the economy.”
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