A peak in lay-offs is in sight again, but our processing capacity is increased continuously
We asked our members about their views on their own employment situation, for us to be better able to prepare for what is coming. In some lines of business, the worries about lay-offs are increasing, but there are positive signs in the air, too. YTK is seeking more staff for processing through recruitments.
Year 2020 was very exceptional regarding the development of unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic and the restriction measures. Unemployment increased considerably, and the number of laid off people in particular rose to a historically large figure. Due to the deteriorating situation with the coronavirus and tightening restrictions we are currently heading towards similar conditions as prevailed last spring.
We recently asked our members for estimates on the development of their own employment situation. Based on some 25,000 replies to the members’ survey we anticipate that a new peak in lay-offs will be coming within the next few weeks. The lay-offs will concern the tourism, accommodation and restaurant businesses in particular, and possibly also other everyday services. It is still difficult to estimate the broader consequences of possible mobility restrictions.
On the other hand, our members are also more confident about the future than a year ago. The worsening employment situation does not concern a large share of our members, and some believe that the spring may also bring positive news regarding employment.
In spring 2020, the number of first-time applications sent to us was the highest in May, when we received more than 50,000 of them. This spring we expect to receive around 30,000 applications. So the peak will not be as high as a year ago, but it will be a significant change to the current situation. Furthermore, the unemployment rate is already at a high level.
We are continuously hiring new staff
From the point of view of the applicant the important thing is how quickly the application for daily allowance is taken for processing. YTK has managed to get the waiting time to a satisfactory level, for which the thanks go above all to our dedicated staff. The coming weeks will, however, be challenging. The number of applications in January–February was over 19,000 higher compared to November–December, and the volume is growing.
We have been preparing for the increasing workload since the beginning of the year. More than 30 new employees have started work at YTK this year. We are planning to recruit around 60 people through different channels during the spring. At present, the YTK staff totals around 300, and the number of our employees was nearly doubled last year. The recruitments help in clearing the queues with some delay, because familiarisation in the processing of daily allowance applications takes weeks.