Tuesday 15 June 2021 / 7:39 AM Business / Rachel Reeves

Labour responds to latest ONS figures showing payroll jobs in May remained half a million below pre-Covid levels

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, commenting on ONS figures that show payroll jobs in May remained half a million below pre-Covid levels, said:

“Today’s figures, laid alongside the Government’s mistakes and delays, show us just how fragile our jobs recovery can be.

“The lack of clarity in the Government’s announcement yesterday on how they will support workers and businesses given the delay in their own roadmap – a result of their incompetence protecting our borders from new variants – is as unsurprising as it is disappointing.

“For sectors like hospitality, tourism, and our music industry that continue to be affected by restrictions, a month is a long time. Many businesses have financial pinch points coming up but are still struggling to turn a profit.

“If businesses have to stay closed or operate at massively reduced capacity they’re not going to be able to pay staff, rents and loans back. Government support must recognise that.

“The short-termism of this government is exhausting businesses and workers, and they must be clear how they will support firms hit by the Government’s delay in the roadmap.”