Delay to roadmap could lead to “a further rash of business closures”: IEA expert comments on ONS labour market figures
Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on the labour market figures from the Office of National Statistics showing the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.7 per cent
“Today’s labour market figures suggest that the economy is on the mend. But some areas still remain in almost total lockdown, and young workers are facing particular problems.
“The figures, which always appear with a lag, relate to a period when hopes were high that all restrictions would end on 21st June. The news that we are to remain subject to restrictions for at least another month is likely to lead to a further rash of business closures and perhaps a wider drop in business confidence. Failure to open up in the summer augurs badly for autumn and winter when viruses typically come out to play.
“Vacancies are high, which is good news. The pandemic has thrown up new business ideas and opportunities.
“But those still furloughed in a sector severely impacted by restrictions would be well-advised to look for new work rather than hanging on in the hope that normal business operations will resume any time soon.
“In a radically changed economy, with fewer tourists, more home-based activities and a cautious older generation, it is unlikely that a post-pandemic world will support some of our traditional employment mainstays in city centres”.
Notes to Editors
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