Business leaders in Warwickshire cautiously welcome another fall in unemployment figures

"How we support our young people into meaningful employment, or to take up other pathways, will be key to our recovery," said the Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:00 pm
Sean Rose, head of policy at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have cautiously welcomed another fall in unemployment figures.

The unemployment rate dropped from one percentage point to 4.8 per cent in the three months to April while the number of job vacancies rose.

Sean Rose, head of policy at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The figures are moving in the right direction and will hopefully continue to do so as the restrictions we’ve been living under for over a year begin to be eased and as the vaccine rollout continues at a pace.

“But we must remain cautious in our outlook with changes to the furlough scheme imminent and the ongoing uncertainly around consumer confidence, particularly in the hospitality and entertainment sector.

"It will also be important to drill down into the figures with a particular focus on rising levels of youth unemployment. How we support our young people into meaningful employment, or to take up other pathways, will be key to our recovery.

“The support provided by Government throughout the pandemic has proved key to the survival of many businesses in our region so it’s vitally important that it stands ready to continue to help businesses where necessary.”

British Chambers of Commerce head of economics, Suren Thiru, added: “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 to help protect young people from the risk of displacement from labour market.”