Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
7:42 AM 18th January 2022

The Legacy Of The Pandemic Is A Rise In Economic Inactivity

Commenting on this morning's release of labour market statistics, that showed unemployment falling to 4.1% in the 3 months to November 2021, Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

“The good news is that the unemployment rate is now back to within a whisker of its pre-pandemic level but the same cannot be said for the number of people actually employed. The reason for this difference is an increase in the number of people who say they are not available for work – in fact, the legacy of the pandemic appears to be this rise in economic inactivity. Today’s data shows inactivity is particularly pronounced in people over the age of 50 with, sadly, a rise in long-term sickness in this group the driving factor.

“It is also now becoming clear that the Office of Budget Responsibility’s forecast that the unemployment rate would be 4.8% by the end of 2022 is way off the mark. We expect it to be running at under 4% in the not-too-distant future.”

Speaking for the CBI Matthew Percival, CBI Director of Employment, said: “Rising inflation means that squeezed incomes joins the difficulties firms are facing filling vacancies as major challenges in the UK labour market. To break this cycle and deliver sustainably rising living standards, the UK needs a plan to unleash business investment and raise ambitions for growth.”