Vacancies researched new highs of 1,300,000 reached new highs of 1,300,000 between March and May 2022, while the unemployment rate continued to fall, according to the latest labour market data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Today’s data shows record employment levels (75.6%).
However, one in five UK workers are in severely insecure jobs.
The UK continues to face high amounts of staff shortages as economic inactivity remains high (21.3%).
Job market remains tight
Although the job market remains tight according to the labor market data, with real time data from Indeed showing that job postings into June are 44 percent above pre-pandemic levels, we may be nearing a turning point for the labor market as creeping uncertainty results in employers taking their foot off the accelerator.
“There were some signs of softening in the latest labour market data, with the unemployment rate ticking up to 3.8 percent. Employment and vacancies rose further, despite the -0.3 percent contraction in the economy during April, but growth rates appear to be levelling off,” says UK Economist at Indeed, Jack Kennedy.
“The UK’s incomplete jobs recovery may be running out of steam as the economic outlook darkens, with employment still languishing below pre-pandemic levels,” adds Mr Kennedy.
Melanie Wilkes, Head of Research at the Work Foundation, Lancaster University:
“Over 6 million British workers experience low pay, uncertain hours or reduced employment rights. In the context of a cost of living crisis, insecure workers are most at risk from rising inflation and a slowing economy. The Government cannot level up the country unless it introduces new legislation to deal with work insecurity.
“And when it comes to tackling inactivity, blunt instruments like the Way To Work scheme or more draconian welfare policies that push job seekers into any job will not help those businesses struggling to fill 1.3 million vacancies. We need to see a proper plan for participation, with more tailored and specialist support for those who want a job but who face multiple barriers to doing so.”
Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo commented:
“The rise in job numbers and decline in available talent has been a topic of conversation with limited action for far too long. There can be no doubt that there simply aren’t enough people to fill the skills gaps in the country and economic forecasts are already beginning to be hit as a result of this. Despite the Government’s commitment to Levelling Up the UK’s skills, action has been limited – even the much-awaited Employment Bill has seemingly been shelved for now.”
“The skills agenda has fallen down the priority list for the Government but this needs to be rectified with some urgency. It may not be a simple problem to address but there’s a lot that can be implemented to alleviate some of the pressure on the labour market at this critical time. Ensuring global trade discussions maximise the opportunity to agree appropriate services trade deals to allow the UK to efficiently access international labour markets is one such issue that, as of yet, hasn’t been adequately resolved. Agreeing standards as part of the Data Reform Bill to build frictionless, cyber-secure transfer of data between countries will also speed up global hiring processes that are currently hindering our access to global resources.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.