Commenting on this morning’s release of labour market statistics, Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors said:
“Unemployment is now on a firm downward march. And, with the number of people reporting they are ‘away from work’ now at or even below pre-pandemic levels it seems unlikely that the end of the furlough scheme will cause the spike in unemployment that was previously feared.
“We are starting to see a vacancy paradox in the jobs market: record-high job adverts but still more people unemployed than there were before the pandemic. The answer appears to be that those people seeking work do not have the skills or availability that employers need. Businesses will be looking to the government to prioritise lifelong skills and retraining to help them find the teams they need to expand and grow.”
Note: Today’s data shows the number of people reporting they are ‘temporarily away from paid work’ (which includes furlough leave) falling to 1.8m by the end of August, lower than the long run average of around 2.5m. In April 2020 it had risen to almost 9m [table 3 here]