UK businesses are reeling after several months of disruption from the pandemic with expectations on large numbers of redundancies over the summer months.
In a survey carried out by ManpowerGroup, businesses expected to make significant job cuts over the summer holiday, the steepest since records began back in 1992. The disruption from the lockdown has caused problems in all sectors of the economy from manufacturing to tourism and the film industry. With businesses looking to cut costs and re-position themselves for a post-COVID 19 world – many jobs will go over the coming months as the government’s furlough scheme ends, and demand fails to pick up fast enough to stave off redundancies.
While the news of subdued employment prospects is grim, there is optimism in the manufacturing sector that a turnaround is already in motion, but it will take several months before there is enough sustained activity for hiring to start again. And with the UK’s film industry going back to work and other sectors opening up, the easing of the lockdown should dramatically improve economic conditions.
However, the problem remains that in the wider economy there has been several months of nearly no activity, and because of the disruption in virtually all areas, businesses have been simultaneously exposed to problems in many sectors. From disruption to supply chains to delayed orders, and problems re-financing loans – there are ongoing structural issues that businesses need to overcome before they can think about expanding again. And with subdued consumer demand where there is a reluctance for people to go out, it could be a while before we start to see a real jobs recovery.