Labour market

Wages surge as job vacancies hit record high


Hospitality firms are struggling to fill vacancies

Job vacancies have hit a record quarterly high of 1,102,000, an increase of 318,000 from the quarter before the pandemic struck.

It was the second time that the three-month average has risen over one million, according to official UK labour market statistics.

September vacancies were almost 1.2 million, which is a record monthly high.

In the period July to September all industry sectors were above or equal to their January to March 2020 pre-pandemic levels, with accommodation and food service activities increasing the most, by nearly 50,000 (59%).

The UK unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 4.5%.

Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 7.2% and regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 6% among employees for the three months June to August 2021.

British Chambers of Commerce policy director James Martin said: “These recruitment difficulties are likely to dampen the recovery by limiting firms’ abilities to fulfil orders and meet customer demand. Business investment will then suffer, curbing any chance of a prolonged recovery.  

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