News headlines today say that the economy contracted by almost 10% last year. For most people that is a statistic that doesn’t mean a lot. But people can relate to businesses they knew closing: shops, pubs, cafes and more; people they know being made redundant, or not being offered hours of work under their ‘zero-hours’ contract, others feeling that their job (whether as an employee or their own business) is on a ‘shoogly nail’. The government’s furlough scheme and business support scheme have contained the numbers made redundant, but it is anticipated that when they come to an end there will be more business failures, and more redundancies. Hopefully government plans to provide new stimulus to the economy after the pandemic will lead to growth and new jobs, but at the minute there are a lot of stressed and worried people up and down the country, concerned about being able to pay bills, and the blow to self-confidence that can come with unemployment. Let’s remember them all, and encourage those in government to realise what people are going through, and respond accordingly
Lord, behind every statistic are human lives. Many are affected at the moment by the downturn in the economy caused by the pandemic: jobs lost, the worry about whether they could be made redundant soon, or the business fail. May they be assured of your care and concern for them. Inspire those in government to respond appropriately. Help us to remember them, and give what help and support we can
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