“These latest figures show again that it is a great time to be looking for work. Job vacancies are near to record highs, and companies are raising pay to help them attract staff. It’s also good to see employment levels continue to tick upwards.
“However, we are not back at the levels we saw before the pandemic, and the number of people not in work and not looking for work is still very high. Many firms are still struggling with labour and skills shortages and these will constrain economic growth over the longer term. It’s important that we take active steps to overcome these shortages and get the UK economy growing strongly again.
“To do that, both business and government must bring long-term workforce planning to the front of their minds. Businesses will have to think differently about how they hire, upskill and treat their staff, in collaboration with recruitment experts. Meanwhile politicians need to think holistically about how the skills and immigration systems, as well as supporting structures like childcare and local transport, can help create a more sustainable labour market.”