16th June 2020

On the publication by the ONS of UK Labour Market statistics in the three months to April 2020, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“These unemployment figures are concerning but they only hint at the scale of the challenge that lies ahead. Protecting jobs must be a top priority. We continue to call on the Chancellor to provide a flexible approach to the furlough scheme in Scotland. This includes extending it further for the hardest hit sectors such as hospitality and tourism. These sectors are where there is greatest risk of a jobs crisis, which will disproportionately affect young people and the low paid.

“The huge decrease in vacancies shows the gulf in opportunity that is widening when it comes to jobs in retail, hotels and restaurants. As businesses eagerly await detail of the measures we require to enter Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s road map, it is clear that the relaxation of the 2 metre distance to 1 metre will be essential to prevent wholesale economic collapse of these sectors and support business recovery.’’

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