UK online job adverts slip back in mid-August, ONS says

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past an employment agency “ExtraStaff” in North London, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain June 16, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) – The number of online job adverts posted by employers in Britain – a measure of how quickly the labour market might recover from its coronavirus slump – has fallen back slightly, the country’s statistics office said on Thursday.

Between Aug. 7 and 14, the total volume of online job adverts decreased to 58% from 62% of its 2019 average, partly offsetting a large increase in the previous week, the Office for National Statistics said.

The figures used job adverts provided by Adzuna, an online job search engine, the ONS said.

Britain, like many other economies, is facing the prospect of a sharp rise in unemployment as the government phases out its emergency job subsidy scheme, which is due to close at the end of October.

The ONS said 12% of the workforce was on furlough, based on a survey it conducted between July 27 and Aug. 9, little changed from the previous two-week period.

It also said the number of people going shopping continued to rise slightly in the latest week. Overall footfall was 68% of its level the same day a year ago, the highest since the week beginning March 16, just before the lockdown fully started.

Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken

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