Commenting on today’s figures showing that unemployment in Scotland rose to 4.3% between March and May, Colin Borland, FSB’s Director of Devolved Nations, said: “Sadly, these figures come as no surprise. We’ve already seen one in ten of our members forced to make redundancies, with many more expecting to do so in the weeks ahead.
“This is despite the lifeline support offered by, for example, the furlough scheme and the various short-term funding initiatives.
“This isn’t a looming jobs crisis. Every indicator we see tells us it’s here now.
“That is why we need to continue unlocking the economy as quickly as we safely can. Only by getting those parts of the economy that can get back to work moving again will we have the headroom to support those industries which are in for a longer, harder journey back.
“We need to give customers and employees the confidence they need to get back out there, generate some footfall and get money moving around again. The message has to be clear: by going out for that first pint or haircut in four months, we’re doing our bit to get the country back on its feet. The more that consumer behaviour gets back to something approaching normal, the more likely it is that those still on furlough can get back to work.
“We also need to address the practical issues around childcare and transport that are stopping working parents and those who can’t work from home indefinitely getting back to business.”