Falling employment, hours and pay underlines the need for bold action

By July 16, 2020NEWS

TORIES MUST DELIVER POWERS AND FUNDS NEEDED TO PROTECT JOBS

The SNP has renewed calls on the Tory government to deliver the powers and funds needed to protect jobs – as new ONS analysis reveals reduced employment and rising economic inactivity.

The latest labour market figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), published this morning, show there were an estimated 649,000 fewer employees in June than March, with the unemployment rate at 3.9 per cent and the 16-64 economic inactivity rate up at 20.4 per cent.

The ONS analysis also shows the number of hours worked has continued to fall to record lows, the number of new starters has fallen sharply, and pay is falling on most measures – with most furloughed workers not getting pay topped up by their employer.

Separately, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) quarterly recruitment outlook, also published today, has revealed that almost a third (29 per cent) of the 7,400 firms surveyed expect to axe jobs over the third quarter – a record high for the study.

Alison Thewliss MP said the figures, which don’t include recent job losses, underline the need for bold action to protect jobs. The SNP Shadow Chancellor has called for a meaningful fiscal stimulus of at least £80billion in investment, the extension of the furlough scheme into 2021, and the devolution of financial powers to enable a tailored response for Scotland.

Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison thewliss MP said:

“The threat to jobs is growing and it is vital that the Tory government takes the bold action needed if we are to avoid mass redundancies in the weeks and months to come.

“Thousands of jobs are already being cut and businesses are going under. The Chancellor must deliver real investment to stem the tide, including a meaningful fiscal stimulus of at least £80billion, the extension of the furlough scheme into 2021, and the devolution of financial powers to ensure a tailored response in Scotland.

“With around 650,000 fewer employees, a sharp reduction in new starters, the number of hours worked at record lows, falling pay and rising economic inactivity, the time to act is now.

“There is a real danger that if the Tory government cuts the furlough scheme prematurely and fails to deliver the ambitious scale of response required to stimulate the economy we will see thousands more unnecessary job losses in the second half of the year.

“No one is pretending that every job can be saved – but thousands of jobs could be lost unnecessarily if the Tories cut support too soon and withhold the powers and funds the Scottish Parliament needs to secure a strong recovery in Scotland.

“Scotland must not be left tackling this unprecedented economic crisis with one hand tied behind its back. The SNP will continue to press for the powers and investment that other normal independent countries are already using to protect jobs and kickstart their economies.”

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