BCC responds to ONS labour market figures for August

20th August 2021

Commenting on ONS Labour Market statistics for August 2021 published today, BCC Head of Economics, Suren Thiru, said:

“The latest figures confirm that the UK jobs market is recovering strongly as the boost to demand from the easing of restrictions helped drive higher payroll employment in July.  

“Record vacancies confirm ongoing recruitment difficulties. Although the changes to self-isolation rules will help, with many firms facing a more deep-rooted squeeze on labour supply from the impact of Covid and Brexit, staff shortages may persistently weigh on economic activity.  

“Although labour demand is currently robust, with firm’s finances still recovering from Covid and skills mismatches likely to limit the extent to which those seeking jobs after furlough can move into available roles, unemployment may still drift somewhat higher in the near term. 

“Alongside rapid retraining opportunities, government should extend the Kickstart scheme into 2022 and expand it to enable older workers to gain new skills and experience. A more flexible immigration system is also needed to ensure that firms get access to the workers they need.”

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