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Business pressures persist as labour market cools

Wage growth slowed again in the UK jobs market falling from 7.3% to 6.6% in the three months to November.

According to the lastest figures from the Office for National Statistics, the number of vacancies also dropped for the 18th time in a row – but still remain above levels seen before the COVID pandemic.

Jane Gratton, Deputy Director Public Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Today’s data confirms labour market conditions are continuing to cool, with wage growth and the number of vacancies falling once again. However, labour costs remain a huge pressure on businesses dealing with a challenging economic environment.

“Too many firms are still struggling to hire and retain staff. Our latest Quarterly Recruitment Outlook, showed over three quarters of firms attempting to recruit faced difficulties.

“The skills crisis continues to cast a shadow over the labour market. To help tackle the problem, we need a more flexible apprenticeship levy, access to rapid upskilling and reskilling opportunities, and a long-term commitment to Local Skills Improvement Plans across England.

“Businesses will be looking closely at the upcoming Budget for help to plug skills gaps and get more people into work.”

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