Record high for jobs as economy rebounds

job board collage

The number of job vacancies have risen to an all-time high as the employment market rebounds at a pace, according to the Office of National Statistics.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 per cent in the three months to June, while the annual growth in average pay was 7.4 per cent. Vacancies hit 953,000 in the same period.

This immediately applied pressure on the Bank of England to take steps to prevent the economy overheating amid fears inflation will keep on rising.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the figures were evidence that the government’s plan for jobs was working, adding: “I know there could still be bumps in the road but the data is promising.”

The figures folowed GDP data last week that showed the economy bouncing back with growth of 4.8 per cent in the second quarter.

Sue Shaw, Co-founder of Journey HR said: “It’s fantastic to see that the unemployment rate has fallen as consumer confidence continues to rise in the wake of England’s so-called ‘Freedom Day’. However, a buoyant jobs market can also make it harder for businesses to recruit the staff they need to thrive.

“The easing of Lockdown restrictions, combined with the departure of overseas workers and the need for many staff to self-isolate, has made this situation even more challenging.”

Those businesses on a hiring spree may be unaware of the shortage of available talent out there

But she warned: “The end of the government’s Furlough scheme in just six weeks’ time may increase the number of people looking for work – but employers can’t afford to be complacent. To attract the best and brightest talent in a tight jobs market, businesses need to make their values and vision clear – and not just on paper. Leaders who want to stand out from the crowd will need to demonstrate their commitment to their staff with actions, rather than words.”

Paul Farrer, founder of the recruitment agency, Aspire, said the figures were “signs that the economic recovery is well under way”.

He added: “Those businesses on a hiring spree may be unaware of the shortage of available talent out there. We’re noticing that the number of people applying for a job has dropped to pre-pandemic levels, with workers not possessing the skills required to fill available positions.

“This is why the government’s recent commitment to invest in training and skills is so important – although the benefits of this will take some time to appear.

“While the ONS data is largely positive, we aren’t out of the woods just yet. With the end of the furlough scheme in sight, some firms, particularly those in the hospitality, leisure and travel sectors will have difficult decisions to make over the future of their staff if there is any change to the roadmap out of Lockdown.”

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