Job vacancies hit another record highon December 14, 2021 at 7:46 am

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The number of openings is now 434,500 higher than pre-pandemic levels – but growth is slowing.

A factory worker

Image source, Getty Images

The number of UK job vacancies hit another record high in the September to November period, official figures show.

There were 1.22 million openings during the three months, which was 434,500 higher than pre-pandemic levels – although growth is slowing.

It came as the overall unemployment rate edged downwards and more young and part time workers found jobs.

UK employers added 257,000 staff to their payrolls in November, despite the end of the furlough scheme.

Darren Morgan from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said: “With still no sign of the end of the furlough scheme hitting the number of jobs, the total of employees on payroll continued to grow strongly in November, although it could include people recently made redundant but still working out their notice.

“The number on payroll is now above pre-pandemic levels right across the country.

“Separately, survey findings show much of the recent growth in employment has been among part-timers, who were particularly hard hit at the start of the pandemic.

“While job vacancies continue at record levels, the number is not growing as fast as it did earlier this year.”

The ONS data showed the unemployment rate fell to 4.2% in the three months to October – down from 4.3% in the three months to September.

That is close to the 4% seen in the December to February 2020 period before the pandemic began.

The number of vacancies has surged in recent months, driven by the UK economy recovering after lockdown. Redundancies are also below pre-pandemic levels.

However, figures released this week show economic growth began to stutter in October, before the Omicron variant emerged.

Commenting on the latest jobs figures, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “The jobs outlook remains strong thanks to our £400bn economic support package, Plan for Jobs and fantastic vaccine programme.

“To keep safeguarding our economic recovery and the lives and livelihoods of the British people, I am now calling on everyone to keep playing their part and get boosted now.”

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