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IoD: Labour market is 'standing firm'

18 May 2021

Responding to the latest official labour market statistics, showing the unemployment rate at 4.8% in the three months to March, Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

"The UK jobs market is standing firm.

"The unemployment rate continues to be held down by the Job Retention Scheme, which has helped many businesses weather the pandemic.  As Government support begins to unwind later this year job losses are still likely to tick-up, but firms are now also increasingly looking to recruit. 

"Hiring intentions have crept upward with the reopening of the economy and the vaccine rollout. As businesses attempt to re-scale during the recovery we are likely to see the number of vacancies mounting further. With an anticipated surge in consumer demand over the coming months, some firms may even be unable to find and onboard staff as quickly as they need to. 

"Directors now need more detail on the nature of restrictions after June to support their workforce planning for the quarters ahead. The Government must also bolster its retraining initiatives as skills shortages are likely to grow, particularly in the digital space where the pandemic has ushered more firms into harnessing technology."

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