The UK jobs market is recovering strongly as the boost to demand from the easing of restrictions sees job vacancies hit a record high and more people are listed as being on payroll, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The number of vacancies hit 953,000 in the three months to July, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in the three months to June and the annual growth in average pay was 7.4%.
The ONS said payrolls rose by 182,000 between June and July, although at 28.9 million it is still 201,000 lower than before the pandemic struck.
The number of people on payroll has now grown over half a million in the past three months, regaining about four-fifths of the fall seen at the start of the pandemic.
Suren Thiru, the British Chambers of Commerce Head of Economics, said: “The latest figures confirm that the UK jobs market is recovering strongly as the boost to demand from the easing of restrictions helped drive higher payroll employment in July.
“Record vacancies confirm ongoing recruitment difficulties. Although the changes to self-isolation rules will help, with many firms facing a more deep-rooted squeeze on labour supply from the impact of Covid and Brexit, staff shortages may persistently weigh on economic activity.
“Although labour demand is currently robust, with firm’s finances still recovering from Covid and skills mismatches likely to limit the extent to which those seeking jobs after furlough can move into available roles, unemployment may still drift somewhat higher in the near term.
“Alongside rapid retraining opportunities, government should extend the Kickstart scheme into 2022 and expand it to enable older workers to gain new skills and experience. A more flexible immigration system is also needed to ensure that firms get access to the workers they need.”