March Labour Market Statistics: comment from the Institute for Employment Studies

IES News

12 Mar 2024

Commenting on today's figures, Tony Wilson, Director at the Institute for Employment Studies said:

“Today’s jobs figures show that the labour market remains pretty subdued. The employment rate is broadly flat but still about one percentage point below where it was before the pandemic, even though unemployment has fallen back to where it was. So as has been the story in previous months, there are fewer people in work because there are more people outside the labour force altogether – not looking or not available for work. In all, there are well over half a million more people out of work than before the pandemic began. This is being driven by more young people and older people outside the labour force, and in particular because of more people reporting long-term health conditions that stop them from working.

“In our view this is holding back the recovery as the economy is continuing to create jobs, with nearly a million unfilled vacancies reported today. This reiterates that we need a different approach to how we reach and engage with people who are out of work and may want to come back to work, and in particular our employment services need to be more accessible, inclusive and supportive. Employers need to play their part too, and do more to keep people in work and to open up opportunities for those who may need more support.”

Read our detailed briefing note here