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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

REC response to ONS labour market figures, September 2021

Press releases

The ONS published its latest labour market statistics this morning, showing the number of pay-rolled employees recovering to pre-pandemic levels and vacancies rising above 1 million for the first time on record.

In response, Chief Executive of the REC Neil Carberry said:

“The recovery in the number of pay-rolled employees to pre-pandemic levels underlines the huge amount of hiring that is going on right now. With the ONS vacancy count now over 1 million for the first time ever, and most individual sectors having record numbers of unfilled jobs, there is a real risk of shortages impacting the recovery through the autumn.

“There are a number of things we can do to solve this crisis. Government has convened a cross-department forum to tackle these shortages, but this will only be effective if industry experts are involved as well. Government must work with business to improve training opportunities for workers to transition into the most crucial sectors, and allow some flexibility in the immigration system at this time of need. And while businesses are raising salaries in many sectors, they must think more broadly about how they will attract and retain staff through improved conditions, facilities and staff engagement, working with recruiters, who are the professional experts in all of this.”

For more information and interview enquiries, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2129 or Outside of regular office hours, please call 07702 568 829.