Whilst unemployment levels in the UK remain relatively stabilised, one cannot but ignore the nine million individuals currently on furlough. As the situation seems to be nowhere close to stabilising in the coming weeks, we’re taking a look at the impact that the coronavirus has had on employment, the changes which are occurring and the effects its having on the opportunities available out there.
June saw a staggering 139,000 redundancies being announced by almost 2,000 businesses in Britain, including big names names such as Airbus, Royal Mail and HSBC. High street retail giants such as John Lewis have already effected redundancies, or are fearful of having to do so, in light of significantly reduced footfall and a modal consumer shift to online shopping. Airlines are also seeing a dip in financial resources, as British Airways and EasyJet have announced plans to cut around 13,000 employees. The same applies to catering establishments; specifically small, local businesses, which have been hit hard by the pandemic, with many having been forced to shut their doors to the public.
However, the pandemic is not all doom and gloom – a new wave of employment opportunities has simultaneously begun to open up in various growing sectors. Cleaning companies have never seen such a surge in client requests, mostly comprised of businesses in most sectors which required deep and thorough cleaning jobs, whilst individual entities themselves also sought to onboard cleaners. Supermarkets and other foodstuff retail outlets have seen a significant surge in demand for groceries from domestic shoppers as people began eating home a lot more. Warehousing and delivery jobs have not only been on the rise in the latter industry, but also in other areas such as high street retails outlets which are placing greater emphasis on website sales as online shopping rates surge, what with people stuck inside with nothing better to do than surf the web to buy what they need – or what they don’t!
The economy is a system largely shaped by individuals, and often also by forces of nature. Employees are its greatest asset and without them, the wheel will stop spinning and grind to a halt with potentially devastating consequences. It is up to employers to ensure that they are smart in their strategies – creating employment opportunities is essential to allow the wheels of the economy to keep spinning and keep the world in motion.