In response to today’s release of ONS labour market statistics, Anoushka Kenley, Research and Policy Director at Pro Bono Economics, said: 

“Today’s figures illustrate the irrefutable success of furlough in keeping so many people in jobs - with early indications showing the number of payrolled employees rising by 160,000 since the scheme came to an end and record job vacancies again this month. This makes it highly likely that the rate of unemployment will remain well below 5.2%, the OBR’s projection for the final quarter of the year.

“Nevertheless, the share of long-term unemployed people is at a five-year high, as 31.3% of those currently without a job have been out of work for 12 months or more. Those in work face the twin pressures of tax rises and cost of living increases, while public service pressures and backlogs will only enhance these challenges for many.

“It is no wonder then that the charities vital to supporting those most in need are reporting serious concerns ahead of winter. Six in 10 charity leaders expect demand to surge over this period and 40% do not expect to have the capacity to cope.

“In the long-term, we need to see the kind of vision and boldness demonstrated by the furlough scheme in policies to tackle the post-pandemic challenges we now face.”

Contact PBE's press office here.