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New ONS statistics show job adverts up, furlough down, but business closures rising.
The number of furloughed workers in the UK has fallen from 17% to 13% during April as lockdown restrictions have been eased and more businesses increase activity, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The ONS figures also show that 83% of businesses are now trading, a rise of six percentage points since late March, with 4% more expected to restart in early May, and that the volume of online job adverts was at 103% of its average February 2020 level on April 23rd, with construction, domestic help, catering and hospitality and wholesale retail rising most sharply. This marks an increase of four percentage points from the previous week and is the first time it had exceeded its February 2020 average since March 6th last year.
The data also show that the number of people who work exclusively from home remained at 27% and that there was an increase in business collapses, with 5,676 voluntary dissolution applications in the week to April 23rd, a 7% increase on the previous week’s 5,325 and a 14% rise on the 4,977 recorded in the equivalent week of 2019.
Meanwhile, ministers are reported to have asked businesses to help draw up policies on how to make flexible working the default option post-pandemic.