Where will the jobs of the future come from?

Linda J. Dodson

This last category is the most likely to leave a crater in the economy now.

While office staff can often work from a laptop at home, and health workers are clearly in enormous demand, it is face to face customer service jobs which have been smashed by the pandemic.

At the peak of the lockdown in May four-fifths of workers in accommodation and food services were on furlough.

The sector is reopening only gradually, with consumers often cautious about sitting indoors. That is bad news for its typically young and low-paid workers.

Large parts of retail fall into the same category, with high street footfall down 40pc on 2019’s levels.

Recruiters expect the trends of recent years to reassert themselves, with serious consequences for workers.

“The big trend was that British consumers were more value conscious around what they bought in shops, but perfectly willing to go out for the night,” says Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

“I suspect that trend will continue, so retail in its classic shop-based form was in secular decline before this happened, and the crisis amplified and accelerated that.

“Whereas hospitality and culture, if we get through it, on the other side, you cannot see restaurants or pubs no longer being a thing.”

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