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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

REC response to ONS labour market figures, November 2022

Press releases

This morning (Tuesday 15 November) the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its latest labour market update. Responding to the figures, Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), said:

“This morning’s ONS statistics suggest that the exceptional growth in demand for new workers we’ve seen through the year is at an end. But hiring activity is still at a very high level and shortages are still a key problem for firms. Pressure to raise pay for existing staff, as shown in today’s data, and caution about the economic outlook, are likely to be contributing factors in hirers becoming a little more cautious.

“Despite increased levels of employer caution, vacancies are still at historically high levels - it is still a good time to be looking for work. Unemployment remains at record lows, while employment is still below February 2020 levels. That means economic inactivity - those out of work and not looking for it - is a growing challenge, with the ONS figures showing it has hit a new high.

“From healthcare to childcare to flexible working, businesses and Governments need to be working together to boost labour supply so people can earn more in the midst of high inflation and create the capacity for the economy to grow. Growth is the only way we can fund public services and keep taxation low over the long term, and we’ll be looking for a clear plan from the Chancellor at the Autumn Statement on Thursday.”

For more information and interview enquiries, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2157 or Outside of regular office hours, please call 07702 568 829.

Find out more about the REC's new research, Overcoming shortages: How to create a sustainable labour market.