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Business News


UK economy fights back as jobs market defies the Covid crisis


Positive trend: Saira Demmer By Jess Brookes


Latest figures indicate further recovery in the jobs market, amid a pay bump for employees across the country. According to figures released by


the Office for National Statistics (ONS), from January to March 2021, the employment rate in the West Midlands rose by 0.2 per cent to 74.2 per cent and unemployment fell by 0.4 per cent to 5.7 per cent compared to the previous quarter. Unemployment figures nationally


fell at a slower pace, by 0.3 per cent, to 4.8 per cent, while


employment figures rose by 0.2 per cent to 75.2 per cent. Early estimates by the ONS also


indicate that nationally, median monthly pay increased by 9.8 per cent in April, compared with the same period of the previous year. In April, 97,000 more people


across the UK were in payrolled employment when compared with March 2021. Early estimates show that since


the start of year, growth rates of payrolled employees have started to recover on the lower rates seen since the pandemic, but still remain in negative territory.


The ONS has also said that


figures suggest that recovery in job vacancies available started in April as Covid restrictions began to be lifted, especially in sectors such as hospitality and entertainment. Saira Demmer, chief executive of


SF Recruitment, commented that the figures indicate further signs of recovery in the job market, but there has been some slowdown in prospective candidates. She said: “Positive news as we


see further signs of recovery in the employment market. The strong vacancy data being seen across both the Midlands and the UK


means that this positive trend is likely to continue into the summer at least as businesses seek to make up for lost time. “We are however seeing a


slowdown in available talent to fill vacancies as businesses have worked hard to keep their staff engaged and well-rewarded, as evidenced by the very strong 9.8 per cent increase in median pay. “We expect this will change once


lockdown is fully eased, as some employees will start to prioritise career development over job security again, thus opening up a larger talent pool.”


June 2021 CHAMBERLINK7


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