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

IES News

12 Oct 2021

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

“Today’s figures show that labour shortages are now affecting the whole economy, with fewer unemployed people per vacancy than at any time in at least forty years.  We estimate that there’s nearly a million fewer people in the labour market than on pre-crisis trends, with this being driven particularly by fewer older people in work and more young people in education.  These shortages are holding back our economic recovery, and won’t fix themselves by just exhorting firms to pay people more.  Instead we need to do far better at helping some of the six million people who are outside the labour market because of ill health, caring or full-time study to get back into work.  For government, we need urgent action at the spending review this month to improve support for older workers, parents and disabled people in particular, where we’ve spent less on employment support in the last year than the furlough scheme costed in a single week.  And firms will need to do more too, particularly by improving how they advertise and recruit, but also in trying to meet people half way on job security, flexibility and workplace training and support.”

Read the detailed IES Labour Market Statistics briefing note here