Job vacancies at their highest in 20 years, but employment rate remains below pre-pandemic level

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Job vacancies hit 1.1 million from July to September 2020 – a new high and a 20-year high – but the UK employment rate was still below pre-pandemic levels.
It was the second straight quarter in a row that the average number of job vacancies exceeded one million, with 12 of 18 employment sectors monitored by the Office for National Statistics registering a record number of job vacancies. Wholesale and retail trade; The motor vehicle and motorcycle repair industry experienced the largest quarterly increase in job vacancies, up 35,000 jobs (32.4%) from the previous three months. In total, there were 3.7 vacancies for every 100 jobs – also a record. However, there are signs that demand for personnel has started to slow in some areas. In the last quarter, the ONS recorded a 38.9% increase in job vacancies compared to the previous three months, but from July to September it only registered a 27.7% increase. Although all sectors saw an increase in the number of job vacancies, the highest growth rate was observed in transportation and warehousing which saw a 56.1% increase in job vacancies (18 500 jobs). Gerwyn Davies, senior labor market adviser at ICPD, suggested that “virtually all” jobs created since the start of the pandemic are temporary, with the number of temporary workers increasing by 136,000. For many, those temporary jobs will be temporary. involuntary. “It negatively affected women, who account for the majority of the increase (up 82,000 or 41%). This growth in “contract labor” is mainly due to an uncertain business environment and the need to fill temporary shortages caused by self-isolation. It may also partly explain why inactivity rates remain relatively high, ”he said. Despite more than a million vacancies posted, the UK employment rate from June to August was 1.3 percentage points lower than before the Covid-19 pandemic, at 75.3% . The unemployment rate was estimated at 4.5%, 0.5 percentage point higher than before March 2020, and the economic inactivity rate was 21.1%, 0.9 percentage point higher.

Ashleigh Webber

Ashleigh has been a trade journalist since 2012. She covers all aspects of HR, recruiting and employment issues for Personnel Today, as well as workplace health and wellness for OHW +. Prior to joining Personnel Today, she covered the logistics and transportation industries.


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