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Current Labour Market Conditions - January 2022 Update

The numbers for the last quarter of 2021 have been released by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), noting that the total UK workforce increased by 60,000 quarter-on-quarter. Temporary employment was higher than the same time in 2020 by 9% and represented 5% of the UK workforce. The number of job vacancies has stayed record breaking, at 109% higher than the year before and 59% higher than in the pre-pandemic Q1 of 2020.

Confidence in the UK economy continued to fall through negative points to net -11 in October-December 2021. The REC say that concerns about rising inflation, labour shortages and the Omicron variant has driven this loss of confidence and keeps the scale negative for a "second consecutive period".

In more positive news, the data is also showing that "employers confidence in making hiring and investment decisions remained positive". The net points of +9 is an indicator that confidence in these activities is increasing. So why would confidence in the economy be decreasing but intent to hire be going up? Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC says it's down to demand. Companies needed to keep hiring as consumer demand increased on the run-up to Christmas and Omicon caused staff absences that could only be solved through more temp recruitment.

That said, over the festive period and in January, recruitment was still a big challenge. Neil Carberry advises that as "labour shortages will still be with us long after COVID fades as a major economic issue", recruiters and employers should work together closely to find solutions.

On 24th January the REC announced the Restart partnership between Maximus and the REC providing additional support and job finding services to people who have been out of work because of the pandemic.

In just one of the ways members of the REC, such as recruitment agencies, are helping address the shortages in the workforce; the partnerships has come about because of members feedback on the challenges being faced.

We are finding solutions for businesses across Northamptonshire and Peterborough to address their staffing difficulties – talk to us today.