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UK jobs market remains subdued according to latest ONS figures

The UK jobs market remains subdued and further action will need to be taken when the furlough scheme ends, according to Suren Thiru, the British Chambers of Commerce Head of Economics.

Commenting on the latest job market figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Mr Thiru said: “Unemployment remains on course to peak towards the end of 2021, once the furlough scheme expires and those who stopped job hunting during the pandemic look to return to the workforce as restrictions ease. 

 “Although the furlough scheme will limit the peak in job losses, the longer-term structural unemployment caused by COVID-19, particularly among young people, may mean that the road back to pre-pandemic levels lags behind the wider economic recovery. 

 “Further action will be needed to support the labour market when the furlough scheme ends, including supporting businesses to recruit and retain staff through a temporary cut in employer national insurance contributions.” 

According to the ONS statistics for the year to March, younger people continue to bear the brunt of the jobs crisis amid widespread cuts in sectors such as hospitality. Under 35s accounted for 80% of the 811,000 payroll jobs lost in that period.

The data also showed the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9% in the three months to February – down from 5% previously. 

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