April Labour Market Statistics: Comment from the Institute for Employment Studies

IES News

12 Apr 2022

Commenting on the figures, IES Director Tony Wilson said:

“This data shows that the living standards crisis is already starting to bite. With inflation now well above five per cent, real pay excluding bonuses has seen its largest fall since 2013 and will fall further in the coming months.  However the picture for those out of work is if anything worse, with employment flat overall, four hundred thousand more people out of work than before the pandemic began, and a record rise today in the number not working due to long-term ill health.  This is in turn fuelling acute labour shortages which in turn will be holding back growth and may fuel further inflation.  For the first time in at least fifty years, there are now as many vacancies as there are unemployed people.

“This triple whammy of falling pay, more people out of work and labour shortages is only going to get worse as inflation continues to rise through the summer.  The Spring Statement missed an opportunity to address this, but we need urgent action now to protect incomes and raise participation, especially for older people and those with health conditions. Employers will need to do more too, and make sure that jobs are advertised and designed in ways that are accessible and inclusive for older people.”

Read the detailed IES Labour Market Statistics briefing note here