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Job Vacancies At All-Time High

In today’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) labour market figures, we see that unemployment has plummeted, and job vacancies have soared to an all-time high of 1.2m in September.  In the three months to September, vacancies grew across most sectors driven by a jump in demand for workers by shop owners and wholesalers while motor garages looked for 35,000 extra staff.

Wages adjusted for inflation increased by between 1.5% and 3% after stripping out the distorting effects of the pandemic, the ONS said.

The jobs market is now completely candidate-led in sectors where there are shortages of workers.  We’ve all seen the headlines about HGV drivers but other sectors that are starved of people include health, social care, hospitality, agriculture, distribution centres and factories.

Shortages are so bad that the UK’s army of temporary workers, the traditional back-stop for businesses in need, cannot meet the demand.  It’s incredibly competitive, with some firms opting to increase pay rates, but many businesses simply don’t have pots of money to throw at the problem.

But money is not the only factor to consider.  Employers who are creative in how they value, support and encourage their staff, both permanent and temporary, are the ones that will succeed in attracting the talent they need.

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