By Ben Chernoff, Partner at Davis Grant
The UK has been buoyed by news from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that Job vacancies have hit a record high as the economy begins to rebuild and recover.
In the three months to July, the number of vacancies in the county rose to an incredible 953,000 positions across a variety of sectors.
The data from the ONS also shows that the annual growth in average pay was 7.4 per cent, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.7 per cent.
These are all positive signs for the recruitment sector one would think, but there are a unique set of challenges that lie within the data.
While employers are keen to recruit more people to take advantage of the economic prosperity that is emerging, the recovery is skewed towards particular sectors and even locations.
Among the sectors contributing most to the sudden surge in new job positions were arts, leisure and foodservice firms.
This is not surprising given that these sectors were hardest hit during the pandemic and saw the highest number of redundancies.
Often offering lower paid and less skilled positions, these sectors have also had to contend with the departure of many EU citizens due to Brexit, tougher immigration rules and a shift from many traditional workers in these industries to other professions.
Another in-demand profession is lorry and delivery drivers, with the UK facing shortages of up to 60,000 professional drivers at the moment.
The likes of Tesco and Sainsburys are already offering signing-on bonuses of more than £1,000 to those willing to switch, as well as offering in-house training to existing shop floor workers that covers the cost of re-skilling and acquiring the prerequisite licences.
There is also a variation in where jobs are becoming available with seasonal areas, such as Cornwall and West Wales showing annual rates of job growth of around five per cent, which is considerably more than much larger cities and more urban areas.
The end of furlough is also on the horizon and it is not yet clear what impact this may have on the jobs market.
For recruiters there are certainly opportunities out there given the number of vacancies, but the difficult to fulfil roles due to skills shortages may, perversely, affect their ability to earn more.
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