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BCC RESPONDS TO LATEST ONS LABOUR MARKET FIGURES

Commenting on the ONS Labour Market statistics for November 2021, BCC Head of Economics, Suren Thiru, said:

“The marked rise in payroll employment suggests that the end of furlough had little effect on the UK jobs market in October, as demand for labour continued to surge.

Record job vacancies suggest that the chronic staff shortages encountered by businesses are intensifying and this could derail the recovery by forcing firms into a more long-lasting decline in their operating capacity.

“Although earnings growth remains elevated, achieving wage increases over a sustained period is likely to prove challenging without a marked improvement in productivity and an easing of the cost pressures faced by firms.

Despite the success of furlough, the likely squeeze on hiring intentions from next year’s national insurance hike and more sluggish growth could mean that labour market conditions start to weaken over the medium term.

“More significant support is needed to help firms access the skills they need when they can’t recruit locally, including supporting the hardest hit sectors through expansion of the Shortage Occupation List.”

Read the full ONS statistics here.

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