Like COVID-19, the ‘Great Resignation’ has not been left behind in 2021. It is an enduring trend in 2022 and continuing to affect businesses and their bottom lines.
It is crucial to remember that the ‘Great Resignation’ is not only affecting the US. The UK is also seeing record highs in vacancies.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS)’ vacancy figures for October and December 2021, there were 1,247,000 million vacancies. This is an increase of 127,800 (11.4%) from the previous quarter and 462,000 more vacancies than in January to March 2020.
This mirrors trends in the US.A recent report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November 2021. This represents an increase of 370,000 from October and brings the quit rate to 3%.
The US has now seen a total of more than 65 million leave their jobs in 2021, which is larger the population of European countries like the UK and France.
Like the US, the largest increases in UK vacancies were seen in health and social care (14.9% to 206,000), as well as accommodation and food services. In fact, 11 of 18 sectors saw record vacancies posted.
However, the ONS was keen to emphasize that the growth in vacancies is slowing down from the middle of 2021. There was 29.7% growth for the previous quarter and 43.4% between May and July 2021.
Not doom and gloom
The slowing down in vacancy growth is not the only reason to be optimistic for the ONS.
In its labor market overview for September to November, it found that employment had increased 0.2 percentage points in the quarter to 75.5% or 29.5 million employees.
The number of pay-rolled employees also increased to 400,000 higher than pre-pandemic levels.
In addition, unemployment fell by 0.4 percentage points to 4.1% in the quarter.
Darren Morgan added:
— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) January 18, 2022
“Undoubtedly the labor market figures will see the impact of the Omicron variant and tighter restrictions hitting over the Christmas and New Year period, in particular in industries such as hospitality and tourism.
“However, with the continued drive on booster vaccinations and the latest trend in cases showing a reduction in daily figures, we anticipate with hopeful optimism that the labor market will remain robust and will be able to ride out the storm. “