Workers call the shots as job vacancies boom

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Job vacancies hit a fresh record high in October as employers continued to struggle with worker shortages, official figures show.

The redundancy rate was also largely unchanged despite the end of the furlough scheme in September, making it even harder to fill empty posts.

Employers report having to improve pay and benefits to attract new recruits.

Yet one analyst warned the trend was likely to continue amid a shortage of younger workers and those over 50.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were 1.17 million job openings in October – almost 400,000 higher than before the pandemic.

Moreover, some 2.2 million people started a new job between July and September, it said.

Furlough impact
Some had thought a rise in redundancies after the furlough scheme ended would make it easier to fill the high number of vacancies. An estimated 1.1 million people were still on the job support scheme in its final days.

Yet while redundancies rose slightly in the three months to September, the unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, close to its pre-pandemic level.

Moreover, there were 160,000 more workers on the payroll in October than in September.

“It might take a few months to see the full impact of furlough coming to an end, as people who lost their jobs at the end of September could still be receiving redundancy pay,” said Sam Beckett, head of economic statistics at the ONS.

“However, October’s early estimate shows the number of people on the payroll rose strongly on the month and stands well above its pre-pandemic level.

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