Responding to today’s ONS figures, Jonathan Boys, labour market economist for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development comments:
“In many ways, these figures confirm what we already know – recovery appears to be in full swing and confidence is returning. Seeing redundancies return to pre-Covid levels suggests that for the bulk of the economy most of the pain has passed. Unemployment continues to fall, buoyed by strong demand for labour, and most industries are showing vacancies above pre-pandemic levels. The 265.5% quarterly growth in hospitality vacancies hints at the strength of the bounce back in some sectors. The struggle to find staff is a boon to some workers and a headache for some employers.
Boys continues: “To fill vacancies and ensure a solid jobs recovery there should be a focus on better jobs, not just more jobs. Employers should look at job design and offer better terms including wages, training opportunities and benefits such as flexible working. Employers thinking longer-term might recognise that now there is a golden opportunity to invest in skills – especially apprenticeships for young people – to offset the rising threat of labour and skill shortages. Government has a role here and must reform the apprenticeship levy to make it fit for purpose ensuring it does what it set out to do – namely increase the volume of training taking place.”