For the eighth month in a row, the number of job openings in the United Kingdom has decreased, with employers citing economic concerns as the reason.
These official numbers are being released the day before the chancellor is anticipated to announce measures to help people get back to work in the next budget on Wednesday.
A total of 51,000 fewer jobs were available between December and February than in the preceding three months.
Yet with the decline, there are still a lot of open positions—1.1 million as of this writing.
When compared to the time between January and March of 2020, before the epidemic, there are 328,000 more openings.
Over that time period, the percentage of the population aged 16–64 who were economically inactive (not working and not looking for work) decreased to 21.3%.
Young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 drove this trend by entering the labor market or actively seeking employment.
Nine million people in the United Kingdom are not contributing to the economy because they are either students, retired, or unable to work due to a chronic health condition.
Even while there was a drop in new jobs, “it’s not cause to panic,” James Reed, chairman of recruitment agency Reed, said.
He made the following statement on the BBC’s Today show: “Actually there are over 300,000 more vacancies than there were at this time pre-pandemic, three years ago, so the labor market is fairly vibrant still which surprises many people.”
Part-time workers and the self-employed contributed to the increase in the employment rate, which pushed it up to 75.7% between November and January. The jobless rate has not changed from 3.7%.
According to self-employed carpenter and joiner Robin Clevett, who oversees a team of up to ten workers on building projects, there is now a shortage of experienced laborers, forcing him to reject down employment.
Commerce, he assured the BBC, is “very buoyant” right now. “Insulation work, new construction, remodeling existing structures, and cladding replacement are all jobs that require skilled laborers. The widespread demand and abundance of advertisements for a wide variety of trades are direct results of the widespread shortage of available labor.”
To which he elaborated: “Knowing that I can’t locate the necessary help, I refuse to accept any new projects. So, I am declining offers.”
Meanwhile, data from the Office of National Statistics indicated that wage growth had slowed.
In January, the average weekly pay in the United Kingdom was £589 (excluding bonuses), an increase of £1 from the previous month.
The average monthly wage increased by approximately £3 in 2022.
That was obviously not enough to cover rising living expenses. Inflation adjustments show a 2.4% decrease in average pay from October to January compared to the corresponding period a year earlier.
Inflation is decreasing, but at 10.1% it is still quite high.
The director of economic statistics at the Office for National Statistics, Darren Morgan, has stated, “Although inflation has slowed, it is still outpacing earnings growth, meaning real pay continues to shrink.”