The latest Office for National Statistics report reflects mainly positive perspectives for the future of employment, the labour market, and earnings. As we are seeing more businesses reopen, with open vacancy rates soaring sky-high, the data found in the August 2021 report reflects these economic changes.

Though these two aforementioned factors will have a weigh-in on the results found in this month’s data, it is difficult to distinguish which results have been more weightily affected by Brexit and COVID-19.

Since restrictions have eased, the UK economy has indeed grown. Between April and June 2021, UK GDP has been estimated to increase by 4.8% – while this result is hugely positive, we remain 4.4% below the pre-pandemic level found at the end of 2019.

With indoor hospitality reopening, the success of the EUROS, and non-essential retail opening, accommodation and food services increased their trade by approximately 87%. Meanwhile, wholesale and retail trade were reported to increase by just under 13%.

The percentage of businesses trading has improved by 18% since January 2021

During this month, the percentage of businesses that are trading is 89%, a huge increase compared to only 71% in January of this year.

The lowest proportion of businesses’ workforce reported to be on furlough since the beginning of the Furlough Scheme

It has been reported businesses that have utilised the government’s Furlough Scheme initiative are using it less than ever before. The proportion of these businesses’ workforces on full or partial furlough leave has been estimated to fall from just under 20% in January 2021 to 3.7% in late July 2021.

The number of businesses reporting a decrease in turnover has declined the most since estimates began

During June 2020, 65% of businesses that were presently trading reported a decrease in turnover. Whilst this number has slowly decreased whilst restrictions have eased, the most dramatic decrease has been reported in late July 2021. Only 29% of businesses reported a decrease in turnover – a figure incomparable to any other reported since estimates began in June 2020.

Filling vacancies has been harder this month

Approximately 9% of businesses that are still trading have reported that vacancies were more difficult to fill in the last month in comparison to regular expectations. Around 75% of these businesses agreed that this was because there has been a lack of appropriate candidates to fill the roles open.

Meanwhile, there has been reported a record-breaking amount of job vacancies open in the UK. Topping one million this month, this is the first time on record that open vacancies have reached such high levels.

2% of businesses plan to make redundancies soon

In other news, 1 in 50 businesses in the UK plan to make redundancies in the next three months. Of these businesses, most plan to make their redundancies in the next three months, while the minority will make them within the next two weeks to one month.

The top reasons for this apparent increase in redundancies are due to a need to reduce staff costs (41% said this was the case), job roles no longer being required (36%), or phasing out of the furlough scheme (28%). 




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