daily update from John Bridge OBE DL

Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Recruitment Outlook (QRO)

Results from the Chambers Quarterly Recruitment Outlook, in partnership with Totaljobs, reveal the impact Coronavirus has had on the jobs market, with the two organisations calling for further action from government to protect businesses and jobs.
• 29% of businesses expect to decrease the size of their workforce in the next three months

• 28% decreased size of workforce in Q2 but 66% kept their workforce constant, reinforcing the success of the Job Retention Scheme

• Both organisations call for a cut in employer National Insurance Contributions to protect businesses and jobs.

The survey found that over the next three months:

• 18% of micro firms (with fewer than 10 employees) expect their workforce to decrease

• 41% of small and medium firms (with 10 to 249 employees) expect their workforce to decrease

• 41% of large firms (with over 250 employees) expect their workforce to decrease.

This survey has reinforced data from the Chambers recent Quarterly Economic Survey of the challenging environment business communities across the UK are facing, with record falls in key indicators of business activity, including domestic and export sales, cashflow and investment.

Many businesses are suffering from an historic cash crunch and reduced demand, meaning firms will still face tough decisions despite welcome interventions made in the Summer Statement.

We very much believe the government should consider additional support for employers before the Autumn Budget to reduce the overall cost of employment and prevent substantial redundancies. Measures could include a temporary cut in employer National Insurance Contributions and support to upskill and reskill employees as businesses adapt to change.

The QRO can be accessed here.  

Beginnings of recovery?

It is however interesting to note that as lockdown begins to lift, Totaljobs have seen a 30% month-on-month increase in the number of jobs being advertised on their website for June, with the largest volume posted in IT (20k), logistics (12k) and social care (9k).

There were also month on month increases in sectors benefiting from lockdown easing like retail (+51%), travel (+47%) and hospitality (+23%). Skilled trades also started to see growth compared with previous weeks, with jobs advertised increasing by 57%.

Unsurprisingly, applications per vacancy were up across all sectors, reflecting continued rises in candidate activity on the Totaljobs site.

Mandatory face coverings in shops and how to make one

As previously advised, the Government has announced that face coverings will be mandatory from 24 July when shopping. This is to protect those who work in shops and to give people more confidence to shop safely. Those who do not wear a face covering in shops will face a fine of up to £100. Shops can refuse entry to someone not wearing a face covering and can call the police if someone fails to comply.

We thought it would be useful to pass on the guidance for making a mask at home. The key thing is it should cover the mouth and nose.

We are advised the necessary guidance for business will be available from the government soon and we will provide this when available.

Further current information on the use and wearing of face coverings can be found here .


Contact the Chamber

01223 237414 •
Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce

Clifford House • 2 Station Yard • Oakington • CB24 3AH • United Kingdom