Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

ONS labour market statistics: REC response

Responding to the latest labour market figures from the ONS published this morning, Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said:

“Today’s ONS figures confirm what REC research is telling us - 2020 has been a tough year, but there are reasons to be hopeful as we approach 2021. The record increase in total hours worked is a positive and the REC's Jobs Recovery Tracker measured 1.4 million active job postings at the start of December, a new high for the year. With the vaccine being rolled out, it’s likely a recovery will take place in 2021.

“While more jobs are now being advertised, the trend is not yet enough to offset record redundancies, hitting, 370,000 in the three months to October. This is the main driver of rising unemployment at the moment. Action must be taken now to stimulate job creation and retention - for example by reducing employers' National Insurance contributions, the biggest tax on business. This will help struggling businesses retain staff while encouraging those which need extra capacity to hire more.

“We now have just 16 days until the Brexit transition period ends. Without a deal, businesses face barriers to trade and disruption just as they are starting to recover from the pandemic. Every effort must be made now to secure a deal in the final few days so businesses can continue to trade, especially in services which makes up 80% of our economy."