Bank of England's Tenreyro hopes for small skills hit from COVID

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England policymaker Silvana Tenreyro said Britain might avoid an economically damaging loss of skills in its labour market as long as the rise in joblessness caused by the coronavirus crisis does not drag on.

“My view is that as long as the current period of high unemployment remains temporary, there should be only a limited loss in skills,” she said in a series of written answers to questions from lawmakers. “The crisis may even have led some workers to upskill to adapt to new ways of working remotely.”

Tenreyro said she believed the outlook for Britain’s economy should fall somewhere between the slow recovery from the Spanish flu pandemic of a century ago and the quick bounceback of countries hit by the more recent SARS and MERS epidemics.

“The current pandemic should fall in between the two extremes, but naturally, there is still significant uncertainty within that wide range,” she said.

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