Gerwyn Davies, Senior Labour Market Adviser at the CIPD, comments on the labour market statistics for the period February-April 2020, published earlier today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS):

"The UK is clearly entering a major employment crisis. While the rise in the claimant count is set to grab most attention, the most worrying feature of these latest job figures is the record fall in the number of vacancies in the UK economy. The private sector is unable to create enough jobs due to a lack of demand for products and services, which bodes ill for the remainder of the year as the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) unwinds, unless business conditions improve very significantly over the rest of the summer.

"Jobseekers will therefore face an increasingly uphill task in finding work, which points to the need for more policy interventions that are targeted at both helping young unemployed people into work and supporting individuals to upskill and re-skill. With real pay growth also falling, the current situation is clearly making this a challenging time economically for those workers who are lucky enough to remain in employment. The consolation from this morning’s figures is that the fall in unemployment has undershot the consensus of forecasts, which highlights the effectiveness of the JRS."

If you wish to reproduce this press release in full on your website, please link back to the original source.

CIPD Media Centre

an interview

To get a fresh, evidence-based perspective from one of our expert commentators – on this or any other workplace issue – please contact our press team on +44(0)20 8612 6400 or

Callout Image

Championing better work and working lives

About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.