Published on: 25 August 2021
Understand the key findings from the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) labour market overview in collaboration with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), a not-for-profit membership organisation that speaks on behalf of 190000 businesses. The report covers employment-related statistics such as employment, unemployment, UK economic inactivity, and PAYE and hours worked data.
Highlights from this month’s labour market update include:
- The latest ONS data cover the period from April to June 2021, providing a snapshot of labour market activity during the gradual reopening of the economy out of lockdown. The latest data show further signs of recovery in the labour market, with employment increasing, unemployment decreasing, and vacancies reaching a record high. Real time Pay-As-You-Earn data for July 2021 also showed that the number of payroll employees increased once again, up by 182,000 in July 2021 to 28.9 million. However, payrolls remain, 201,000 below levels seen before the pandemic, underscoring that a significant degree of slack remains in the labour market.
- Encouragingly, the redundancy rate has decreased on the quarter and has returned to pre-pandemic levels. While these are encouraging signs of demand returning and employers creating jobs, anecdote from our members also suggests that employers are concerned that staff shortages are stalling their ability to grow and support the country’s wider economic recovery. The role that furloughed employees and the existing degree of slack in the labour market will play in addressing these labour shortages is unclear at present.
- Recent changes to self-isolation mean that firms can at last continue to operate more normally, even if short-term absences remain a concern for sectors reliant on younger workers awaiting their second vaccine. But a wider test and release scheme must be implemented so that self-isolation remains properly targeted at those who risk spreading the virus. Longer-term, business must continue to invest in the skills and automation that will underpin future growth. The government can also help by ensuring that the qualifications it funds include those in short supply and removing barriers hampering firms’ ability to recruit overseas workers.
Download the full labour market update to find out:
- The impact of COVID-19 on the overall health of the UK labour market
- How easy or difficult it is for businesses to hire workers in specific regions and sectors and if there might be any skills shortages
- How wage growth and productivity are developing in different sectors as well as the UK overall.
To read the full labour market update please head to the British Marine members section here.