Labour data

Vacancies rise as economy continues to create jobs

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak: jobs market is thriving

Job vacancies hit a record high of 1.24 million between October and December, according to the first data to exclude the impact of the government’s furlough scheme which ended on 30 September.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that job vacancies were 462,000 higher compared to the three months before the pandemic.

The economy continued to create jobs, with payrolled employees rising by 184,000 in December, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.1% in the three months to November, a fall of 0.4 percentage points from the previous three-month period and marginally below the consensus.

Regular pay growth in the three months to November fell to 3.8% year-on-year (y/y) from 4.3% y/y in the previous month, reflecting, in part, a near unwinding of distortions from the furlough scheme and base effects.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s figures are proof that the jobs market is thriving, with employee numbers rising to record levels, and redundancy notifications at their lowest levels since 2006 in December.

“From traineeships for young people to Sector Based Work Academies for those switching careers, our Plan for Jobs is continuing to create opportunity for all.”

The headline unemployment rate in Scotland hit 3.6% in the three months to November 2021, down 0.8% points on the three months before. The employment rate rose to 75.1%, up 0.8% points on the three months before.

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