Job vacancies hit ANOTHER record high of 1.2m amid shortages

Job vacancies hit ANOTHER record high of 1.2m amid shortages

Job vacancies hit another record high of 1.2million last month amid post-pandemic labour shortages.

The number of posts available spiked again despite unemployment continuing to fall – down 0.4 per cent in the latest quarter to August.

The number on payrolls also rose by 207,000 in September to its highest ever level of 29.2million.  

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics underline the pressure on the labour market amid the coronavirus recovery.

It will also fuel concerns about inflation, with average wage rises thought to be running at between 4.1 per cent and 5.6 per cent – even accounting for the warping effects of the pandemic and furlough.

In contrast the headline CPI rate of inflation was 3.2 per cent in August, although there are fears it will soon top 4 per cent and potentially go even higher. 

According to the ONS, the number of job vacancies in July to September was a record high of 1,102,000 – an increase of 318,000 from its pre-pandemic level

The number on payrolls also rose by 207,000 in September to its highest ever level of 29.2million

The number on payrolls also rose by 207,000 in September to its highest ever level of 29.2million

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: ‘The jobs market has continued to recover from the effects of the coronavirus, with the number of employees on payroll in September now well exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

‘Vacancies also reached a new one-month record in September, at nearly 1.2 million, with our latest estimates suggesting that all industries have at least as many jobs on offer now as before the onset of COVID-19.

‘The latest earnings continue to show growth on the year, even after taking inflation into account. However, the figures are still being affected by special factors that make it hard to read underlying trends.’

According to the ONS, the number of job vacancies in July to September was a record high of 1,102,000 – an increase of 318,000 from its pre-pandemic level.

it was the second consecutive month that the three-month average has risen over one million. 

Experimental estimates recorded almost 1.2million vacancies last month, another record high.

The hospitality sector is finding it the most difficult to recruit, with nearly a third saying it is harder than normal to fill vacancies.

In another sign of the buoyant recruitment market, the ONS said the biggest rise in vacancies was seen in the administration and support sector – namely temporary employment agencies – with a 165,000 increase.

Hospitality firms were looking to fill 32,000 jobs in September.

The recovery in the jobs market saw the rate of unemployment fall further to 4.5 per cent between June and August.

With furlough support coming to a close at the end of last month, the latest figures showed the redundancy rate decreased in the three months to August, to 3.6 per 1,000 employees, which is similar to pre-pandemic levels.  

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘As we move to the next stage of our support, it’s encouraging to see our Plan for Jobs working – the number of expected redundancies remained very low in September, there are more employees on payrolls than ever before and the unemployment rate has fallen for eight months in a row.

‘We remain committed to helping people find great work, with an extra £500million to support hundreds of thousands back into employment and help the lowest paid to progress in their careers.’  

Minister for Employment Mims Davies, said: ‘Through our national network of Jobcentres, we are connecting local jobseekers to the record number of vacancies out there – matching talent and opportunities across the country – so that people can be ready to take their next step, and secure that future opportunity.’

A report yesterday found 86,000 jobs have been lost in the UK’s nightlife sector since 2019.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said the sector accounted for 1.6 percent of GDP in 2019, the equivalent of £36.4billion, and employed 425,000.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the ONS figures showed the government's plan is 'working'

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the ONS figures showed the government’s plan is ‘working’

But it said there were ‘fears that many of the jobs lost to the pandemic in the night-time economy sector will be lost for good’ because of closures and lower demand.

Nightclubs and casinos were among the last to reopen when coronavirus restrictions began to be eased in June.

Scotland and Wales are pushing ahead with proof of vaccination records to allow entry into nightclubs but the UK government, which sets health policy in England, has opposed the move.

NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said the moves by the devolved administrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff were ‘chaotic’.

‘It is the worst possible time to introduce vaccine passports, which will further damage a sector essential to the economic recovery,’ he said.

Details of job losses in the industry come as several sectors, including hospitality and catering, complain of severe staff shortages hitting their recovery.

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