Surveys Shed Light About Prospects of UK’s Employment Levels in the Coming Months
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
The latest survey by REC offers a slight glimmer of hope for the state of businesses’ hiring and investment plans across Britain. The REC’s business confidence gauge soared from -21 during April to -10 in May, while short-term demand for permanent workers rose from -9 to -5 for the corresponding period.
While both indicators remain in negative territory, the level of pessimism appears to be easing as the UK gets ready to reopen its economy after several weeks of shutdown. Chief executive at REC, Neil Carberry expresses cautious optimism, stating, “Coronavirus has caused a huge slowdown in the labour market, but this data indicates that the worst could be behind us.”
While the REC survey offers hope that unemployment levels could recede as firms reopen for business, a separate survey from IoD reveals that businesses are struggling to pay their employees through the lockdown despite the government’s job retention scheme.
Around 50% of companies surveyed by the IoD revealed that they could provide around 20% or more of furloughed staff’s salaries between August and October, until the government runs its scheme. Director general at IoD, Jonathan Geldart, remarks, “Business leaders know that the government’s support can’t be infinite but the ugly truth is that if there’s no money coming in the door many firms will be forced to make difficult decisions.”