Ma­jor­ity of staff at mu­sic venues and the­atres still on fur­lough

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Lizzy Bur­den

MORE than half of work­ers re­main fur­loughed in the arts and en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics.

Al­most a quar­ter of busi­nesses in the sec­tor said their risk of in­sol­vency was moder­ate or se­vere from July 27 to Aug 9, com­pared to the econ­omy-wide av­er­age of 11pc of firms.

How­ever, across the en­tire work­force only 13pc of work­ers were still us­ing the job re­ten­tion scheme, which is due to be phased out by Oc­to­ber.

Busi­nesses in the leisure and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor face a dou­ble blow with the end of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme ap­proach­ing this bank hol­i­day week­end. More than 64m half-price meals have been claimed since the lat­ter was in­tro­duced.

“Many of those in most need are the UK’s mid-sized busi­nesses who pro­vide around one-in-three jobs but can of­ten fall through the cracks of gov­ern­ment pol­icy aimed at larger or smaller busi­nesses,” said Paul Eagland, at ac­count BDO. “More than four fifths of UK medium-sized busi­nesses can only con­tinue trad­ing for up to nine months with cur­rent fund­ing ar­range­ments, with most be­liev­ing it will take as long as two years for rev­enues to re­cover.

“We would en­cour­age gov­ern­ment to en­sure there is ad­e­quate sup­port for medium-sized busi­nesses – it will have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the UK’s over­all eco­nomic re­cov­ery,” he said.

Mean­while, the num­ber of job ad­ver­tise­ments posted on­line has re­mained at just more than half its av­er­age for last year for the third week run­ning, the ONS said, cit­ing fig­ures from jobs search en­gine Adzuna.

The big­gest de­cline was in the do­mes­tic help cat­e­gory, where there was a 5 per­cent­age-point slide com­pared with the 2019 av­er­age.

The data form part of var­i­ous ex­per­i­men­tal so-called faster in­di­ca­tors col­lected by the statis­tics body to as­sess the econ­omy and so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing ship­ping data from ports, high street shop­per num­bers and VAT re­turns.

One bright spot was the num­ber of en­ergy per­for­mance cer­tifi­cates is­sued – a proxy for hous­ing trans­ac­tions – which rose to its high­est level since March last week.

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