"The latest ONS figures provide a positive start to the New Year with continued recovery in the labour market. The headlines for the period between September and November 2021 show a UK employment rate at an estimated 75.5%, 0.2% higher than the previous quarter. The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.1%, 0.4% lower than the previous quarter. Two out of the three months reported on reflect a period when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was closed, providing a clear indication that the cliff edge of job losses feared following the withdrawal of the Scheme did not materialise.
"Undoubtedly the labour market figures will see the impact of the Omicron variant and tighter restrictions, including the "Plan B" restrictions in England, hitting over the Christmas and New Year period, in particular in industries such as hospitality and tourism. However, with the continued drive on booster vaccinations and the latest trend in cases showing a reduction in daily figures, we anticipate with hopeful optimism that the labour market will remain robust and will be able to ride out the storm. "