Employee numbers down but Avon reports surge in new reps calling

The number of employees on payrolls in the UK was down in June by nearly 650,000 from March this year, but the decline appears to be slowing.

According to the Office of National Statistics, in June, the number of claimants for unemployment benefits fell and the ONS said that “experimental” monthly data show vacancies increased slightly.

“Employment is weakening and unemployment is largely unchanged, but there are some signs of economic inactivity rising, with people out of work not currently looking for work,” the ONS said in a statement. “Hours worked has continued to fall reaching record lows both on the year and on the quarter.”

At the same time, a more positive trend emerges from a well-known purveyor of beauty products, but a job board CEO predicts there is worse to come.

While the number of employed people fell, a more positive trend is reported today by beauty company Avon, which reports a 114% surge year-on-year in new representatives signing up across the UK since lockdown began in March.

Avon CEO Angela Cretu says the social selling platform is preparing for a “tidal wave” of new sign-ups in the face of what she referred to as a “pink-collar recession”. In tandem with the sign-ups, Avon’s online sales have shown a spike during the lockdown period. While the company is best known for its door-to-door (“Avon calling!”) and party sales, Avon has embraced the technological revolution, allowing its reps to utilise both in-person and online social networks to sell products.

“As recession tightens its grasp on communities in the wake of Covid-19, people are looking for new ways to earn,” Cretu says. “We hope our rep recruitment drive will help female entrepreneurs break through these difficult times.” 

The company has reduced its threshold to earn so that its reps can earn from their first £1 of sales, an Avon statement says. 

Addressing the latest ONS employment figures, CV-Library founder and CEO Lee Biggins said that the number of job vacancies are picking up, “and last week was a record week for new jobs”. However, he added: “The sad truth is that unemployment could, and will most likely, rise sharply in early 2021, unless more businesses are able to create new employment opportunities for everyone – not just young people.” 

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