Employers created almost 200,000 new jobs last week as the struggle to secure workers continued to weigh on businesses, according to a report.
In the week to August 29, another 193,000 vacancies were posted online, taking the total number of active job adverts to 1.66 million, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said.
Businesses have been struggling to secure workers for several months as demand has rocketed since the economy emerged from lockdown. The confederation’s report noted that job adverts in the past five weeks had been at their highest level since mid-December.
The figures suggest that recruitment challenges will persist. European Union workers leaving Britain during the pandemic and high levels of economic inactivity, as well as the furlough scheme, mean that the pool of available labour has shrunk just as businesses are gearing up to meet higher demand. In some sectors, such as logistics and hospitality, companies are having to offer higher wages and signing-on bonuses to secure staff.
“Demand for workers remains very high across the economy and shows no signs of weakening,” Neil Carberry, chief executive of the confederation, said. “With businesses in the particularly squeezed food, logistics and hospitality sectors starting to gear up for Christmas, the months ahead could be difficult, even with a large number of people coming off furlough in August and September.
“It is worth remembering that some of this could be short term. Large numbers of people are finding new work post-pandemic as the economy reshapes, but that realignment will take time and there is good evidence to suggest that the market will remain tight for some years to come, even if the current crisis passes.”
Adverts for dispensing opticians led the growth during the month, with the number of ads up 26.4 per cent during the week. This was followed by job adverts for driving instructors and vehicle body builders and repairers, both of which rose by 12.9 per cent.