Unemployment above 5% and 4.5 million on furlough

The unemployment rate reached above 5% for the first time since 2016, as a further 90,000 people lost their job in the three months to the end of November. This blow has also been softened by the the furlough scheme, with 4.5 million additional staff on furlough in November, up from 2.5 million in October – posing questions about the security of jobs in the coming months.
With full-time, permanent employment no longer offering the security it once did, attitudes towards work may be changing. Additionally, improvements in technology and the rise of remote working due to the pandemic have lead to changes in work culture, meaning the appeal of the 9-5 office job could be lost. High skilled workers have a wealth of knowledge and the experience to go out alone, leaving employment behind for freelance opportunities.
Justin Small, CEO of Future Strategy Club comments on the way work may change:
“With the job market in turmoil and unemployment levels rising, the PAYE paycheck is no longer a reliable constant. Although the past year has been difficult, many entrepreneurs are seeing the opportunity to become their own boss and launch a business or, at least, the next stage of their career. With many firms making redundancies, and vacancies at an all-time low, freelance workers can create their own job tailored to their expertise and tap into years’ worth of skills and experience, and gain true security from their own knowledge and skill – instead of starting again at the bottom of a ladder.
“Freelance talent is also beneficial to firms, who can bring in outside talent on-demand to grow and innovate. The private sector will need flexible workers to ride out the turbulence of post-Brexit regulations and further months of Covid confusion.”

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