Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) over a three month period shows that vacancies have hit a record high, with 953,000 in the period and in July and ONS figures revealed there was more than 1 million job openings, which is the first time on record.
Payroll was up by 182,000 last month, but still below pre pandemic levels by 201,000 and the headline unemployment rate slipped back to 4.7% in the three months to June, which was down from 4.8% the previous month.
Julian Jessop, Economics Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said, “The continued strong recovery in employment and growing evidence of labour shortages adds to the case for winding down the furlough scheme. Indeed, this scheme may now be doing more harm in some sectors than good. Job vacancies are already well above pre-Covid levels and people should be encouraged to return to normal work, or move on.
“The 8.8% jump in average pay in the three months to June provides more ammunition for those arguing that the ‘triple lock’ on the state pension needs to be unpicked. The July figure, which would normally determine the pension increase next April, is now also likely to be well above 8%.
“Each one percentage point increase in earnings growth will add around £900 million to annual spending on state pensions, next year and in future years.
“The pay data have been distorted by the pandemic in ways that no-one could have anticipated. Unless the triple lock is changed, this will provide an unintended windfall to pensioners that is increasingly hard to justify.”
Rishi Sunak said this shows the government’s plan for jobs is working, the Chancellor said, “I know there could still be bumps in the road but the data is promising.”