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

IES News

17 Aug 2021

Commenting on today’s Labour Market Statistics, IES Director Tony Wilson said:

"Today's figures show that the recovery continued to gain momentum through the spring as restrictions eased.  Nearly two million people started a new job between April and June, an extraordinary figure and comfortably the highest that we've ever seen.  However despite this, vacancies continue to rise with more than a million job openings in the single month of July - another record.  Put simply, labour supply just can't keep up with employer demand.

"At the same time though, unemployment is still well above pre crisis levels and the labour pool remains smaller overall than it was, particularly because of more people staying in education rather than entering work.  Alongside this, more than two million people are off work due to long-term ill health while more than a million and a half are off due to caring responsibilities.  Overall, 3.4 million people are still out of work and want a job.  As the labour market continues to tighten, employers and government need to do a lot more to help these people get back into work."

Read the detailed IES Labour Market Statistics briefing note here