Employment reaching 3-month high amid rising optimism: BDO
A successful vaccine rollout and ongoing government support for businesses have driven the jobs market to a three-month high, according to the latest data from accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP.
The BDO Employment Index also rose for a second consecutive month, reaching 107.91 in March, above the long-term average level of 100.
The extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme along with improved employment prospects following the success of the vaccine rollout helped to drive up the index, which combines forward-looking employment intentions as well as the proportion of part-time or temporary workers in the UK jobs market, BDO said.
Despite the positive outlook, the index still sits well below the pre-lockdown figure of 112.86 experienced in February last year.
This month’s figure also falls short of the numbers seen last summer, when the Employment Index hit 109.88 in July 2020 as the chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme provided a substantial boost for the services sector.
BDO partner Kaley Crossthwaite said while the latest figures show definite signs of economic recovery, there is a long road ahead.
“The jobs market has benefited not only from extended government support, but also the speed of the vaccine rollout,” said Ms Crossthwaite.
“If infections continue to fall and vaccination coverage continues to rise, the UK is on track to lift the bulk of domestic COVID-19 restrictions by the time the furlough scheme is withdrawn, which should soften the previously feared spike in unemployment.
“However, the financial toll of the crisis coupled with the lingering effects of the pandemic on global demand will cause pain in the months ahead, and rising inflation could be a further sting in the tail for the recovery.”