Job vacancies increase to over pre-pandemic levels

There are more job vacancies now than there were before the pandemic, according to the Official for National Statistics (ONS).

ONS figures also show that unemployment is now falling after a year of job losses.

The number of open jobs between April to June 2021 was 77,500 above its pre-pandemic level in January to March 2020, says the ONS.

There were 862,000 job vacancies between April and June, the highest figure in 15 months.

Meanwhile, unemployment fell slightly between March and May 2021, according to official figures, with an increase in both the employment and the number of hours worked.

However, the UK’s unemployment rate is currently 4.8%, still 1% higher than before the pandemic began, the ONS added.

Matthew Percival, Director for People and Skills at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: ‘Vacancies exceeding pre-COVID levels is a further sign of demand returning and employers creating jobs.

‘Yet businesses’ ability to meet this demand, and support the recovery, is being challenged by staff shortages. As COVID cases rise, firms are facing the double difficulty of hiring workers and more employees self-isolating.’

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