Responding to latest official employment figures, showing the unemployment rate rose to 4.5%, Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
"Job losses are likely to keep mounting as this turbulent year draws to a close.
"With the furlough scheme unwinding, cash-strapped firms have been forced into difficult decisions about retaining their staff. Demand remains weak and as restrictions ramp up again many businesses will be stretched when it comes to paying wage bills. The Job Support Scheme may need to be beefed up if the Government wants to avert further rises in unemployment.
"The pick-up in vacancies offers a spot of relief. But while the UK's flexible labour market has helped ensure high employment over recent years, it will surely need more support now. The Government should boost retraining courses, encourage start-up activity, and help SMEs to retain staff with a reduction in Employers’ NICs."