IoD press release No let-up in staff shortages into the New Year

Commenting on this morning’s release of labour market statistics, that showed no change in the headline rate of rate of unemployment in the three months to January, Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

“The labour market is proving itself far more robust than many economists had expected. Today’s data shows that we still have three hundred thousand more vacancies than before the pandemic, with unemployment, at 3.7%, remaining at historically very low levels.

“While very good news for households seeking to keep the cash flowing coming in in the face of higher bills, this is a tougher situation for businesses seeking to recruit. Our own data shows staff shortages remain one of the keenest pain points for our members.

“Today’s data does, however, show a small and welcome reduction in economic inactivity, but this is predominantly among the younger cohort with only a very small contribution from those who had retired. Inactivity due to long-term sickness increased to a record high.

“We will be looking for action in tomorrow’s Budget to shift the dial and get a labour market that works better for business.”

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