Vacancies in the United Kingdom rose to a record high on Tuesday, according to official figures.
Wage pressures are clearly rising as the unemployment rate falls further and the number of people on the payroll moves towards pre-epidemic levels – a growth suggested by the financial markets, leading the Bank of England to raise interest rates sooner than previously thought, especially as it raises already high inflation.
The National Statistics Office said the number of job vacancies rose to 953,000 from 290,000 in the previous three months between May and July. This is the highest level since records began in 2001.
The increase in vacancies came during a period when most locking restrictions across the UK were lifted following the rapid spread of vaccines. The increase in job vacancies in sectors such as the arts, entertainment and food service companies is particularly evident, which was severely affected during the many locks in the UK.
Among other encouraging news, the number of people on pay rose to 182,000 between June and July, bringing the total to 28.9 million. The total number is still 201,000 less than it was before the outbreak in March 2020.
“Today’s numbers show that recovery is accelerating in the spring as restrictions are relaxed,” said Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Research. “Simply put, the labor supply cannot run according to the needs of the employer.”
Recent figures have raised hopes that the British government’s decision to end the wage support scheme introduced at the outset of the epidemic will not lead to significant job losses.
Under the job retention scheme, the government provided 80% of the salaries of workers who could not work due to curfew measures. The project, which was phased out and completed by the end of September, has helped support more than 11 million people, but as many sectors have reopened, the number is now less than 2 million, especially in the hospitality sector.
“There is no indication that layoffs will begin in the survey data before the Furlow project begins to fade,” said Jonathan Ado of the Statistics Institute.
Often as usual, more employment in the economy leads to higher wage bonuses. Tuesday’s data showed annual wage growth, including a bonus of 8.8% or 7.4% for the three months to June.
Wage increases, inflation may rise further as higher wage bonus recipients spend more. The Bank of England expects inflation to rise to an all-time high of 4% this year after 2011 as energy costs continue to rise.
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