Tom Mongan

Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have welcomed a fall in unemployment – but say companies in some sectors of the economy are facing a recruitment headache.

Unemployment dropped from 4.8 per cent to 4.7 per cent in the three months up to April as the economy was slowly starting to reopen.

Tom Mongan, president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the end of the furlough scheme could see an uptick in unemployment but that some areas of the economy are desperate to recruit.

He said: “Of course, we welcome the slight fall in unemployment but there is still a feeling that it is being slightly skewed by furlough and we’ll only really know the true hit once that scheme comes to an end.

“That said, I have been visiting businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire over the past couple of weeks and the feedback I am getting from the hospitality sector is that they need to recruit.

“The Government has postponed the full lifting of restrictions for a further four weeks but hotels, bars, restaurants and cafés will need to attract more new recruits when the economy reopens fully.

“It’s a combination of Covid and Brexit that has led to the shortage. Some people have found new industries while the hospitality sector has been closed down while many EU workers have returned home.

“So it’s absolutely vital now that this industry is supported in finding and training new staff to help them make the most of the full reopening of the economy when that happens in July.”