New research published by the Resolution Foundation, suggests the jobs market is facing a period of ‘huge uncertainty’ as the furlough scheme ends, with hiring at record highs but unemployment set to rise.
The think tank’s latest Labour Market Outlook considers what the end of the Job Retention Scheme could mean for the labour market. While it notes that the overwhelming success of furlough has prevented a surge in joblessness, it warned that around 900,000 people could still be on the scheme when it ends on 30 September.
As a result, the Foundation believes there is ‘huge uncertainty’ about what might happen next and argues that employment support schemes will have a vital role in protecting vulnerable groups. With older workers the most likely to still be on furlough, it suggests the Restart scheme will be particularly important.
The Confederation of British Industry has also highlighted current uncertainties, warning that staff shortages could continue for another two years. Although the business group acknowledged the end of furlough would bring some people back into the labour market, it said this would not be a ‘panacea’ that will ‘magically fill labour supply gaps.’