Commenting on the publication of labour market statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which shows that the employment rate reached 75.3 per cent in the three months to July, the highest level since records began in 1971, Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green says:
“Businesses continue to hire despite economic and political uncertainty. The fact that 379,000 more people are in jobs compared to a year ago is great news.
“However, inflation is increasing and real wages are failing to keep up, so many people will be feeling a pay squeeze. Our data suggests that in many areas of the jobs market employers are offering more money to new recruits in order to secure people with the skills they need. This is a response to the tightening labour market and skills shortages which are affecting many different sectors, from engineering to food production.
“With unemployment now at 4.3 per cent it’s going to get even harder for employers to fill jobs. There are just 1.9 unemployed people for every vacancy. This challenge is being exacerbated by a fall in net migration from the EU. The idea that there are enough people in the UK ready and willing to take the jobs available is unrealistic.
“Businesses can only grow if they have access to the people and skills they need. It is essential that the government recognises this by developing an evidence-based immigration system that will support the economy.”