UK Job Vacancies Hit Record High

By Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
October 12, 2021 Updated: October 12, 2021

Job vacancies in the UK reached over 1.1 million during the last quarter, the highest since records began, newly released official statistics show.

The number of job vacancies from July to September 2021 was a record high of 1,102,000, an increase of 318,000 from the pre-pandemic level in the spring of 2020, according to the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said the jobs market “has continued to recover” from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

In the last quarter, there was continued growth across the majority of sectors with 12 of the 18 categories displaying a record number of vacancies. The largest quarterly increase was seen in wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles.

But the rate of growth in vacancies has begun to slow down across the majority of industry sectors. Vacancies rose by 239,000 (27.7 percent) from July to September 2021, down from 242,000 (38.9 percent) in the preceding quarter.

ONS also said that the number of UK workers on company payrolls has surged above pre-pandemic levels after a record jump in September.

The number of payrolled workers rose by 207,000 between August and September to a record 29.2 million. This was 122,000 higher than levels seen before the pandemic struck in February 2020.

The rate of unemployment fell further to 4.5 percent between June and August, down from 4.6 percent in the quarter to July and the lowest level for a year, according to the ONS.

Britain’s jobs market rebound has sparked speculation that the Bank of England may raise interest rates faster than expected, as it looks to cool soaring inflation, with fewer unemployment fears to hold it back.

While furlough came to a close at the end of last month, the data showed vacancies almost matching those left on the support scheme, raising hopes the UK would avoid any spike in unemployment.

But the ONS flagged the impact of the mounting recruitment crisis in the UK, with vacancies rising 318,000 above levels seen before the pandemic and recent analysis showing a raft of sectors struggling to fill posts.

The hospitality sector is finding it the most difficult to recruit, according to the ONS, with nearly a third (30 percent) saying it is harder than normal to fill vacancies.

PA contributed to this report.