Jobs to fall by 10%

Employment is likely to be down 10% by the end of the year, while normality isn’t expected to return for at least a year, according to a Bank of England survey of UK firms.

This is more optimistic than the month before, when it was thought jobs would fall by 18%.

Companies reckon employment was around 6% lower than expected between April and June this year.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Government schemes have held back a wave of redundancies, but as the furlough scheme is gradually eroded, job losses will break through.

“The information and communications industry is taking a big hit at the moment. Employers were already battling to manage changes in the way we consume information, and the crisis brought about a fall in sales and a collapse in advertising which was the final straw for some. It has meant an awful lot of restructuring and job losses.

“The accommodation and food industry, by contrast, was in full flood when the crisis hit, and the furlough scheme allowed businesses to hit pause rather than stop. Its problems will come later down the line as the furlough scheme is gradually withdrawn, and they struggle with running a business based on social interaction at a time of social distancing.

“Businesses are unconvinced that the economy will have bounced back by then – and expect sales and investment to be down significantly even at the start of 2021. They think life won’t return to normal for at least another year.

“It means we need to learn to live with insecurity for months to come. This is always less painful and stressful if we know we have a savings safety net to fall back on. Ideally we need 1-3 months’ worth of expenses in an emergency account. But at this stage, whatever you can set aside now will help you get through the uncertainty that lies ahead.”