Employment remains below the pre-pandemic levels for a quarter of the UK workforce. This is what the Institute for Fiscal Studies says in a report that suggests more flexibility in the labour market than official estimates show.
The rise in job vacancies to a record level is entirely due to low-paid occupations. There, the number of vacancies is now 20 percent higher than before the pandemic. The research group published this in a report on Tuesday. The demand for truck drivers and warehouse workers is particularly high.
The findings suggest that the labour market has more capacity than the unemployment figures suggest. The Bank of England is examining labour market trends to assess how long inflation will remain above its 2% target and whether it needs to reduce incentives.
”If some of the workers still made redundant join the group of unemployed when the leave expires, competition will become even more fierce, ” ifs economists wrote. “The few occupations with a high labour shortage are real and cause problems for the supply of certain goods.”
It’s a different story for better paid professions. There are vacancies for more than 8 million employees. That level is still at least 10 percent below the pre-pandemic level. Competition for jobs is also fierce.