• Brits are working again, as new data shows the number of employees has returned to pre-pandemic levels
  • But the travel industry is bracing for a wave of redundancies once furlough support ends
  • JD Sports’ US expansion has paid off, as demand for sports fashion booms

UK labour market regains pre-pandemic strength

The UK jobs market is booming, but will the impending end to furlough temper its expansion?

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed another 241,000 employees were added to UK payrolls in August, taking the total number of people in work to 29.1m – a level last recorded in February 2020. Meanwhile the number of job vacancies during the three months to August reached 1.03m, breaching the 1m mark for the first time and around a quarter of a million higher than the number of vacancies between January and March 2020.

For those who have been holidaying in the UK over the summer and noticed the number of job ads in restaurant windows, it will come as little surprise that the sector which saw the biggest rise in vacancies was accommodation and food service. Vacancies here rose by 75 per cent, although the increase may drop as seasonal factors fall away. 

Those in work are still enjoying strong pay growth. Average pay was up 8.3 per cent in May to July, although the market is being distorted by a decline in low-paying jobs and sharp wage inflation in sectors where there are severe shortages of workers, such as haulage.

But the big question remains: what effect will the ending of furlough support later this month have on the jobs market? The ONS reported that more than 1m people were still being supported by the furlough scheme at the end of August. GD

Read more: 

Is there a national labour shortage?

What does the lorry driver shortage mean for supermarket earnings?

Save travel industry by ending harsh rules, says ABTA

When the government does withdraw coronavirus job support, travel companies are likely to be hit harder than most. The UK’s leading travel agency body warned today that the industry faces a wave of redundancies when the furlough scheme ends later this month.

The Association of British Travel Agents argued the government should kill its current traffic light system, maintaining only a red list for the highest risk destinations. It also called for the end of expensive PCR testing for vaccinated travellers returning from “lower-risk countries”. New foreign holiday bookings this summer were down 83 per cent on 2019, ABTA said, while 58 per cent of holidays booked for July and August had to be postponed or cancelled. 

The government is reportedly considering changing testing requirements, and the traffic light system could end within weeks. But the industry is demanding action soon. On Monday, Heathrow Airport said that its August traffic figures were down 71 per cent compared to 2019, adding it had gone from being Europe’s busiest airport to only the 10th busiest. AH 

Further reading: 

EasyJet

People enjoy themselves at Magaluf beach in Mallorca as British tourists are expected to resume travels to the area starting from June 30th, Spain, June 29, 2021. REUTERS/Enrique Calvo/File Photo

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Britain’s travel sector is bracing for a new wave of job cuts, with an industry trade body saying that more than two thirds of its members were planning to make redundancies shortly due to the government’s restrictive holiday rules.

Airlines and travel companies have slammed Britain’s travel rules as overly expensive and complicated, and blame them for a second lost summer of holiday trade in 2021.

Travel industry body ABTA, which represents 4,300 travel brands, said that new bookings were 83% lower in summer 2021 compared to their pre-pandemic levels, and as a result most of its members were planning more job cuts at the end of this month when a furlough scheme ends.

“The government’s travel requirements have choked off this summer’s travel trade – putting jobs, businesses and the UK’s connectivity at risk,” ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer said in a statement.

Estimated new redundancies will bring the total number of jobs lost during COVID-19 to nearly 100,000 in the outbound travel sector, said ABTA, a figure which rises to 226,000 once the impact on the supply chain is included.

ABTA echoed calls from airlines and airports for the government to scrap the requirement for fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK to take expensive PCR tests. read more

It also said that the government should provide tailored financial support to the travel industry which continues to suffer financial hardship while the domestic economy has been able to recover.

Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Two-thirds of travel sector employers with staff still on the furlough scheme are planning redundancies once the wage support is removed at the end of the month, the travel association ABTA has warned.

The body said a survey of its membership showed that 69% of employers planned to let staff go after 30 September.

It blamed “overly-cautious” coronavirus restrictions on travel in the UK, saying they had hammered demand during the peak summer season and inflicted huge damage on the industry’s chances of recovery as a result.

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Travel boss welcomes prospect of UK restrictions easing

ABTA said that it expected almost 100,000 people in the sector, including airlines, to have either lost their jobs or walked away during the COVID pandemic once the Job Retention Scheme was closed.

The figure rose to 226,000 when the employment impact on the supply chain was factored in, its report said.

It warned that 43% of travel agent and tour operator workers, tens of thousands of people, were currently still on furlough though the report could not put a number on the roles set to be lost.

ABTA spoke out as ministers prepare to review the restrictions covering international travel by 1 October – with discussions set to intensify this week as the PM outlines later on Tuesday his plan to deal with coronavirus over the coming months.

ABTA is demanding the traffic light system for destinations is scrapped, along with the widespread use of PCR testing.

It accused the government of wasting the success of the vaccine rollout to date and said it should be up to individuals to determine their own risk status.

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Javid wants to scrap PCR tests for travellers

The body complained that shifting restrictions and confusion meant that 58% of bookings, with departure dates in July or August this year, had to be postponed or cancelled.

It concluded that too much damage had been done to demand for the government to end financial support now, with a letter to Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak urging “a package of tailored financial support – extending the furlough scheme for travel businesses and a dedicated grant fund”.

ABTA chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “The government’s travel requirements have choked off this summer’s travel trade – putting jobs, businesses and the UK’s connectivity at risk.

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Heathrow boss urges change to travel rules

“While our European neighbours have been travelling freely and safely, the British were subject to expensive measures which have stood in the way of people visiting family and friends, taking that much-needed foreign holiday and making important business connections.

“The government needs to wake up to the damage its policies are doing to the UK travel industry and the impact they will have on the wider economic recovery.

“It is the fares from leisure passengers that keep our planes flying

Companies included on the government’s approved Covid-19 travel test provider list appear to be flouting consumer law by refusing to refund customers for unfulfilled orders, according to dozens of travellers who have contacted the Guardian.

Boots is among the firms whose terms and conditions state that orders for tests are non-refundable even if they fail to materialise despite the Consumer Rights Act allowing customers to claim money back if an order or service is not as described or fit for purpose.

Another test provider has threatened legal action against customers who complain about missing tests.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said on Sunday that he wanted to scrap the costly PCR test requirement for double-jabbed people returning to the UK from some countries as soon as possible.

“The PCR test that is required upon your return to the UK from certain countries, look, I want to try to get rid of that as soon as I possibly can,” Javid told Sky News.

“I am not going to make that decision right now but I have already asked officials that at the moment we can, let’s get rid of these kind of intrusions, the costs that generates for families, particularly families just trying to go out and holiday.”

People arriving into the Uk from countries on the government’s green and amber list are required to pay for PCR tests on or before day two after they return. Those who have not received both vaccines also have to take a test on day eight from amber list countries and failure to comply can result in a fine of up to £2,000.

The government website directs travellers to an official list of test providers who have self-declared that they meet minimum standards.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care, companies have been removed from the list for misleading price claims, but complaints from customers suggest that no action has been taken against firms that fail to fulfil orders and rely on unfair terms and conditions to evade refunds.

Richard Claughton and his wife, both NHS workers, paid Boots £150 for two day two tests after a trip to Spain to visit family in July. Only one test kit arrived, damaged beyond use, six days late.

Boots refused to refund them, claiming that, according to its terms and conditions: “The service is deemed to have been provided in full by Boots and ReCoVa-19 by providing the customer with their booking reference number.”

The company told the Guardian that, instead of a refund, missing or faulty kit would be replaced free of charge. A replacement in Claughton’s case would have meant his test results arriving after his official quarantine period had ended.

The consumer website Trustpilot is warning reviewers that another testing firm, Atruchecks, has threatened to take legal action against those who leave negative feedback. All reviews since June have rated it “bad”, citing the non-delivery of testing kits, misleading pricing and unresponsive customer service.

The company, which is owned by the

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – To meet the demand of staffing shortages, hospitals are recruiting travel nurses. Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris designated the nursing shortage as Alabama’s most urgent need.

Travel nurses are usually paid more than staff nurses, which could be why we are seeing more people take those opportunities.

To meet demand, Governor Kay Ivey has put $12.3 million dollars in federal funds toward bringing qualified travel nurses to work temporarily in Alabama hospitals.

North Alabama native Sherry Tapia started her first travel nurse assignment 18 months ago, just before the pandemic started.

“I had quit my floor nurse job to take a job in another state, then the pandemic hit, and those jobs were canceled. A friend of mine suggested I take the travel nurse job that way I could make some money and not be sitting at home during this entire pandemic,” says Sherry Tapia.

Tapia says she plans to keep traveling even after the pandemic, partially because of the increase in pay.

“Alabama is one of the worst paying states as far as nurses go… that’s just not fair,” says Tapia.

Tapia says while the purpose of hiring travel nurses is to fill empty positions and help with staffing, sometimes there is pushback from staff nurses over the income disparity for the same workload.

“We do get that ‘you make so much more money than I do.’ But it’s a choice. You chose to take this job and that’s what they offered you. They said ‘this is what you’re going to make,’ and you said ‘I will take that and I will work here.’ At any time people can leave. They can go. They can do the travel nursing,” says Tapia.

Tapia believes Alabama hospitals are going to have to pay more for there to be an incentive to stay in the state. She says travel nurses are only a temporary fix to current staffing shortages.

“Bring in travel nurses, get us through this pandemic and then they can go their way and try to get some long-term nurses, let’s try to increase that pay and make us comparable with other states in the country,” says Tapia.

Since Kayleigh Caamaño and her husband, Jann, opened a pizza restaurant three years ago in Stephenville, Texas, filling open positions has never been an issue.

“We’ve always had a problem getting good people, but we’ve never had a problem hiring people,” Caamaño said. That’s partly because the restaurant is located just about a mile away from Tarleton State University’s campus, where some 14,000 undergraduates students were enrolled last fall.

“Now it’s changed to where overall people just aren’t applying,” she said, or the few who do apply ghost them after interviews or quit before they even start working.

Caamaño’s experience aligns with what many other restaurants owners have likely been facing.


In the food services industry specifically, payrolls declined by 42,000 in August

Last month there were no new jobs created across the entire leisure and hospitality industry, according to the jobs report published on Friday. In total, some 235,000 jobs were added in the U.S. last month — far below the 720,000 jobs economists had forecast.

In the food services industry specifically, payrolls declined by 42,000 in August.

Restaurants struggled to recruit and retain employees before COVID-19

Even before the pandemic, recruiting and retaining employees “had been the industry’s top challenge for many years,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president for research at the National Restaurant Association, a trade group that represents more than 380,000 restaurants. Long hours and challenging work conditions come with relatively low pay for restaurant servers; the median wage was $24,190 a year in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That challenge has intensified as more Americans have gotten vaccinated and started to dine out again. “As consumers have stepped up their restaurant usage, industry traffic has increased, creating a greater need for employees,” he told MarketWatch. In January, 8% of restaurant operators rated recruitment and retention of workforce as their top challenge; by June that number had risen to 75%, the highest level ever recorded, according to an August report by the National Restaurant Association.

High demand for workers in other industries, caregiving responsibilities and safety concerns associated with COVID-19 are collectively holding back workers from taking jobs in the restaurant sector, Riehle said.

Economists are blaming the lackluster August jobs report — and the fact that no new jobs were added in the leisure and hospitality industry, which includes restaurants — primarily on the highly transmissible delta strain of COVID-19.

“It’s plausible that many employees decided to ‘sit out’ the delta spike and use the time to search for jobs that offer better pay and safer work conditions,” Aneta Markowska and Thomas Simons, economists at Jefferies, said in a note on Friday, referring to the leisure and hospitality sector.

Caam’s is located near a college campus, which usually makes it easy to recruit employees, but lately hardly anyone has applied for five open positions, said co-owner Kayleigh Caamaño.


Photo courtesy of Kayleigh Caamaño

“We have been hard-pressed to help source [talent] into the hospitality industry,” said Richard Wahlquist, president

DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT, Colo. — The 10 rafts are secured to the banks of the Green River. The tents are up. The sun is setting over the sandstone canyon walls. As 30 rafters dig into steaming bowls of chili, it’s time to start planning for the future.

How can northwest Colorado entice and manage visitors, protect natural landscapes like the Green River’s stunning Gates of Lodore and prop up an economy girding for the looming departure of coal mining?

“As our coal leaves, what do we have left?” asks Jennifer Holloway, the executive director of the chamber of commerce in the town of Craig, where she grew up. “We have an amazing experience that can change lives. How can we share that, but also protect it?”

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Three years ago, Moffat County “had some challenges with our identity,” Holloway says, describing how her father, when she was little, walked away from the family farm to work in the better-paying coal mines. “Not everyone had a coal job, but we focused on coal and neglected other things.”

Those other things – like tourism, agriculture and outdoor recreation – are no longer being neglected. It’s been a year since Tri-State Generation and Transmission and Xcel Energy announced they would be closing their coal-fired electrical plants and nearby coal mines starting in 2028. The closures will cost northwest Colorado as many as 800 jobs.

A community-based transition plan focuses on growing the region’s tourism and recreational amenities while protecting agricultural heritage and natural resources. The communities of Moffat County, downstream from the bustling resort of Steamboat Springs, are essentially a blank slate. They are taking cues from other Western Slope communities, hoping to glean lessons on what works and what does not. And the wheels are turning.

“Our community is on the cusp of doing great things, transformational things,” Holloway says.

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Craig has applied for a $1.8 million federal grant for the roughly $2.7 million Yampa River Corridor Project, which hopes to revamp boat ramps and add a whitewater park as part of an effort to bolster the region’s appeal with river runners and paddlers. An additional phase of the plan would build a trail connecting Craig to the Yampa River.

Last year the City of Craig purchased the historic Yampa Building from the Moffat County School District. The building has been converted into a visitor welcome center as well as a home for artists, a senior center and several local nonprofits and private businesses.

Josh Veenstra said investment in the river will help shape a new identity for Craig and northwest Colorado.

“This is the last stop before the wild begins,” says the co-owner of Good Vibes River Gear who was born and raised in Craig and worked in both the coal mines and power plant.

Veenstra learned to sew at the

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic did a number on the U.S. economy, driving millions of Americans out of work and onto unemployment benefits. And while the economy isn’t looking as dire these days compared to the start of the outbreak, it still has a ways to go before it recovers in full.

However, for the economy to get back to normal, jobs need to be created. And in that regard, things are looking up for the private sector.

In August, new private sector jobs came to 374,000, according to the most recent ADP National Employment Report, up from 330,000 in July. And if job growth continues within the private sector, the economy could end up in an even better place by the end of 2021.

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Who added the most jobs?

Here’s how job creation broke down for the month of August:

  • 86,000 jobs were added by small businesses of one to 49 employees
  • 149,000 jobs were added by mid-sized companies of 50 to 499 employees
  • 138,000 jobs were added by larger companies with 500 or more employees

Meanwhile, the service sector added 329,000 jobs. And within that sector, leisure and hospitality saw the most job growth, with 201,000 new positions being added.

It’s important to note, though, that the leisure and hospitality industry was among the hardest hit during the pandemic. Earlier on in the outbreak, restaurants and entertainment venues were forced to shutter temporarily to guests, causing lots of jobs to be shed. And so now, the added jobs are helping to make up for those that were lost in the spring of 2020.

How to find a job in today’s economy

If you’re in the market for a new job, whether because you’re unemployed or because you want a better opportunity, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on the industries that are hiring. But there are also other steps you can take to improve your chances of getting an offer.

First, spend some time cleaning up your resume. Make sure it’s up to date and that it does a good job of describing your skills and former responsibilities.

Next, be prepared to put some effort into a cover letter. Your resume will tell employers what experience you have, but it won’t necessarily speak to your personality, which is something companies may want to know about.

Finally, make an effort to network. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and former coworkers to ask for help in finding job openings. If you know someone whose company is hiring and

The travel industry, which earlier this year had begun to rebound from the impact of COVID 19, is under renewed pressure because of the Delta variant. 

Business travel in particular is taking a hit as companies, many of which have slashed corporate travel budgets, postpone out-of-town meetings in favor of virtual ones. New European Union restrictions on unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. are also expected to cut into airline, hotel and other hospitality company profits, while Europeans still cannot travel freely to the U.S.

Underscoring those challenges, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this recommended that unvaccinated Americans stay home over the Labor Day weekend

The U.S. Travel Association, a group representing the travel industry, said its members cannot afford another major setback.  

“In 2020 alone, the pandemic resulted in a $500 billion loss in travel spending that cost the U.S. $1.1 trillion in economic output. Great strides have been made to combat the virus and restore the U.S. economy, and we cannot afford to backslide,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, U.S. Travel’s vice president of public affairs and policy, in a statement on Wednesday. 

Nearly 70% of business travelers are taking fewer trips than planned amid rising rates of COVID-19, according to a new survey from Morning Consult and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, an industry trade group. That includes 52% of business travelers who say they’re likely to cancel existing travel plans without rescheduling.  

In a normal year, business travel accounts for 53% of the hotel industry’s revenue, according to the AHLA. With leisure travel rates expected to wane after Labor Day and business travel still depressed, industry veterans are concerned. 

“After Labor Day, we are very concerned about what travel is going to look like for the final quarter of the year. For most people, there are lots of cancellations happening right now. The survey work shows the intent for people to not travel as much as we had anticipated,” AHLA chief executive Chip Rogers told CBS MoneyWatch. 


TSA reports lowest air travel numbers since M…

02:05

For now, hotels and other employers are reluctant to lay off workers a second time even if demand is shrinking, with many businesses struggling to fill job vacancies. 

Craig Reid, CEO of Auberge Resorts, a group of 20 luxury hotels and resorts across the U.S. and other countries, said that while demand from leisure travelers remains strong, most business-related bookings are being cancelled. By contrast, reservations from parties traveling for social events like weddings are still on. 

“We’ve seen very few cancellations from people traveling for leisure,” Reid told CBS MoneyWatch. 

Airlines are also seeing the effects of the latest coronavirus wave. American Airlines Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja recently told Wall Street analysts that he expects “a very choppy recovery.” 

“Passenger demand and revenue in July was better than we had estimated. However, the recent uptick in COVID cases and related headlines created some softness in bookings with a corresponding increase in cancellations. Currently, August revenue

ZAGREB, 2 Sept 2021 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that job-retention grants of HRK 4,000 per employee for August would remain in place for the catering industry, the event industry, passenger transport, and travel agencies.

The grants will be disbursed in September to the event industry, travel agencies, and nightclubs, he said, recalling the relaxation of the anti-epidemic measures as of 1 September.

All other businesses are more or less going back to normal, he said, adding that in case the need for grants emerges in some other sectors, the authorities will consider the matter.

The shortened working week measure remains in force until the end of this year and covers up to 90% of the wages including contributions, Plenković said.

The government is set to turn from the job-retention to job-creation measures, whereby the employment schemes will be bolstered with HRK 500 million, and in 2022 the allocation for this purpose will be HRK 1.5 billion, he added.

HRK 18 billion for job-retention measures, contributions

The job-retention schemes, including the schemes for salaries and contributions, cost HRK 18 billion, Plenković said.

Nearly every second job was covered by the schemes, or 700,000 out of 1.59 million, and 92% of the companies operating in Croatia were covered.

As a result, there are now 52,000 more employees in Croatia than in the corresponding period of 2020, and 6,000 more than in the corresponding period of 2019, the prime minister said.

Furthermore, there are 9,000 fewer people out of work compared to March 2020, just before the outbreak of the pandemic in Croatia, he added.

 (€1 = HRK 7.5) 

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