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Furlough fears ease as job vacancies hit another RECORD high

Furlough fears ease as job vacancies hit another RECORD high of 1.17m, payroll numbers rise, and unemployment falls – with wages spiking 5.8%










Fears over the end of furlough eased today as job vacancies hit another record high and payroll numbers rose.

The latest figures suggested the impact of winding up the massive bailout could be largely absorbed by the strong labour market. 

The number of employees on payrolls hit 29.3million last month, up 160,000 on September.

There were 1,172,000 posts vacant in the quarter from August to October, 388,000 more than the pre-Covid level.

Meanwhile the employment rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 75.4 per cent between July and September, while unemployment dipped 0.5 percentage points to 4.3 per cent. 

However, there are concerns the relatively rosy picture masks worrying signs about inflation. Wages including bonuses were rising by 5.8 per cent annually – although the figures have been warped somewhat by the effects of the pandemic. 

There were 1,172,000 posts vacant in the quarter from August to October, 388,000 more than the pre-Covid level

There were 1,172,000 posts vacant in the quarter from August to October, 388,000 more than the pre-Covid level

ONS head of economic statistics Sam Beckett said: ‘It might take a few months to see the full impact of furlough coming to an end, as people who lost their jobs at the end of September could still be receiving redundancy pay. 

‘However, October’s early estimate shows the number of people on the payroll rose strongly on the month and stands well above its pre-pandemic level.

‘There is also no sign of an upturn in redundancies, and businesses tell us that only a very small proportion of their previously furloughed staff have been laid off. In addition, vacancies again reached a new record high.’

Employment minister Mims Davies said: ‘With over 100,000 young people landing roles through the Kickstart scheme, more people on payrolls this quarter in all corners of the country, and unemployment continuing to fall, it is clear our Plan for Jobs is working.’ 

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