Commenting on the ONS labour market statistics for March 2021, published today, BCC Head of Economics Suren Thiru said:
“While unemployment rose slightly, the continued uptick in the payroll employment data indicates that the UK jobs market is becoming more resilient.
“Ongoing wage support, greater clarity provided by the government’s roadmap and the adaptations made by some firms to operate under lockdown restrictions helped support higher payroll employment in February.
“Extending furlough will limit the peak in job losses. However, with many firms struggling with the damage done to their cashflow by a year of covid restrictions, unemployment is likely to remain on an upward trajectory until well beyond a full reopening of the economy.
“While the extension to the job support schemes will protect millions of jobs and livelihoods, it is vital that those businesses and individuals who remain excluded from government support get the assistance they need to navigate a difficult period.”