Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
8:42 AM 14th November 2023

UK Businesses Still Struggling To Hire The People They Need

Image by liravega from Pixabay
Image by liravega from Pixabay
This morning’s release of labour market statistics showed largely unchanged unemployment and economic inactivity rates in the three months to September.

Alexandra Hall-Chen, Principal Policy Advisor for Employment at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Today's data shows that while the number of vacancies has fallen slightly, the labour market remains very tight and businesses are still struggling to hire the people they need.

"Our own data shows that business leaders continue to cite skills and labour shortages as having a negative impact on their organisation, second only to more general concerns about the UK economy.

"Historically high levels of economic inactivity due to long-term sickness remain a cause for concern. The government should use next week's Autumn Statement to support businesses to invest more in occupational health provision by expanding the range of occupational health services covered by Benefit in Kind exemptions."

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said:
“Our economy is in the relegation zone.

“Unemployment remains 225,000 higher than a year ago with vacancies continuing to decline.

“Working people are far worse off than they were when the Conservatives took office.

“If pay packets had been growing at pre-crisis levels, workers would be on average nearly £15,000 better off. And across parts of the economy, real wages are still shrinking.

“The Conservatives’ economic mismanagement is costing people their jobs and livelihoods. It's time for change.”

Jane Gratton, Deputy Director of Public Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“There are clear signs of a cooling off in the labour market, with vacancies continuing to trend downwards and unemployment remaining static.

“But employers are still struggling, as wages continue to outpace inflation and the impact of 14 consecutive interest rate rises starts to bite. It is also a concern that the flow of inactive workers back into employment appears to have stalled.

“A thriving economy needs a skilled and flexible workforce in every region and sector. That’s why the UK Government and employers need to invest now to address the skills shortages that are holding everyone back.

“The Chancellor must use the Autumn Statement to help businesses boost their investment in high quality training. It is also essential that everyone who wants to work can access the healthcare and support they need to thrive in employment.”