Make UK’s October edition of its Manufacturing Monitor updates key statistics from previous editions. The latest survey includes information on manufacturers’ furlough activities, redundancies, sales & orders, operating levels, and future expectations. Additionally, the survey has recorded initial views on the Government’s incoming Job Support Scheme.
The number of manufacturers that have furloughed staff has dropped again since the previous report, with 50.8% having no workers furloughed. No manufacturer surveyed has more than 75% of staff furloughed. In the the final, and most expensive, month of the Job Retention Scheme, the numbers indicate that a mixture of employees returning to the workplace and being made redundant – both accelerated in recent weeks.
The data also indicates a marked increase in the share of businesses that have already made redundancies. MAKE UK assesses that many job cuts will have taken place before the JSS announcement, raising fears that the scheme either was announced too late or is an insufficient measure to protect viable jobs.
The survey shows the majority of manufacturers do not plan to use the JSS to support viable jobs. MAKE UK sees a worrying picture for UK manufacturers who either plan to move forward without any support or do not find the scheme a suitable replacement for the CJRS. MAKE UK is concerned the JSS may fail where needed most, in vulnerable firms that cannot afford the minimum requirements and where viable jobs are most at risk.
The latest Manufacturing Monitor survey reports the lowest share of manufacturers (38.8%) indicating a fall in sales and orders since the start of the pandemic. A similar proportion reported a decrease in orders during the last two weeks. However, the majority of manufacturers sit in the ‘no change’ bracket (43.8% and 41% for sales and orders respectively).
Although, significant uncertainties remain around Covid-19 and UK trade negotiations there has been a notable increase in the share of manufacturers (24.3%) now operating at pre-Covid levels. A further 35% of manufacturers have achieved 75-99% of their operating levels. 81% of manufacturers are operating somewhere above 50%.
More than a third of manufacturers surveyed expect it to take at least 12 months before normal trading conditions return. A quarter estimate it will take 6-12 months.
The Full Report is available from the Make UK website