Responding to today’s ONS labour market figures, Jonathan Boys, labour market economist for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, comments:
“The UK continues to experience labour shortages as the workforce remains smaller than it was pre-pandemic. Increased industrial action shows that many people aren’t satisfied with their jobs, and it’s not just about pay. Excessive workloads and a lack of flexibility also undermines people’s wellbeing and work life balance, which has led to large numbers of people dropping out of work completely. Employers must focus on providing quality jobs with flexibility, autonomy and meaning to retain and attract staff.
“While the stats show employers are reining in hiring, citing economic pressures as a reason for fewer vacancies this month, the number of vacancies remains much higher than pre-pandemic. The ratio of unemployed people per vacancies is 1:2. This means there are not enough people to fill vacancies and recruitment remains tough.
“Annual pay growth of 6.6% should be a win for workers but with prices rising by 10.4% they continue to experience a real terms pay cut. The gap between private and public sector pay growth remains but has narrowed considerably in recent months suggesting that industrial action, or the threat of it, may be working.”