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What will the end of furlough mean for the UK job market?

Over the past 18 months, as many as 11.6m jobs have at some point been on furlough.

Figures from HMRC revealed that at the end of July 1.6m people were still on furlough.

As of 19 September, the Jobs Recovery Tracker showed there were 1.9m active job adverts in the UK.

Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, comments on the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

“There will be plenty of employers hoping that Friday does finally deliver the anticipated flood of labour back into the market but in reality, nobody really knows for sure how many of those listed as still on furlough at last count have been welcomed back into their old jobs.”

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“We can surmise that certain sectors like travel won’t be able to keep paying every staff member that’s been kept on the books but now those traffic lights have finally been switched off, even travel will be considering whether winter sun might provide a bonanza.”

Many recovering businesses won’t want to lose skilled workers from the fold and for them the timing of furlough’s end might provide a solution.

“Christmas is rapidly approaching and names like Amazon, John Lewis and Next are already jostling to pull in the temporary staff they’ll need to keep deliveries flowing over the all-important golden quarter.”

“It might not be the solution furloughed staff had been hoping for but taking a cut in hours would at least give them hope that their career path is still heading in the right direction, even if it has to take a little detour. And with sign-on bonuses or perks like free food being dangled like carrots, a cut in hours does open up opportunities at least in the short term.”

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