The UK’s employment situation is proving to be more promising than the US.
In fact, the UK’s Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) labor market overview for November 2021 found that the number of employees grew by 257,000 on October levels to 29.4 million and the employment rate grew 0.2 percentage points this quarter to 75.5%.
Talking about the figures, the ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said:
Commenting on today’s labour market data, ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said⬇️
— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) December 14, 2021
UK job vacancies for September to November 2021 continued to rise and reached a new record of 1.22 million; this is 434,500 higher than the figure for January to March 2020.
During the quarter, all but one industry (electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply) experienced growth in vacancy numbers, according to the ONS.
The fastest rates of vacancy growth were seen in sewerage and waste management, as well as manufacturing. The largest quarterly increase was in human health and social work activity; hospitality and retail also struggled.
The only positive news around vacancies is that the rate of growth has slowed from 35.4% last quarter to 17.9%.
However, there remain concerns that the Omicron variant – which is believed to be responsible for the spike in COVID-19 cases in the UK because it is four times as transmissible as other variants – could have long term affects on the job market’s recovery.
Another concern is that the latest UK government advice that people work from home where possible could impact consumer habits in the run up to Christmas. Could this have a disastrous knock-on effect on the already struggling retail and hospitality sectors?
How to survive the ‘Great Resignation’?
Niki Turner-Harding, senior vice-president of Adecco UK&I, commented: “The job market remains firmly on the road to recovery, as signaled by yet another month of increased employment. This is despite swathes of workers across industries leaving their jobs as the long-awaited ‘Great Resignation’ kicks into high gear, with many sectors now facing a ‘hiring crisis’.
In this context, what must employers in the UK do to continue to attract new workers, as well as retain those they have to avoid having to advertise those jobs?
Turner-Harding noted: “In this environment, the battle for best talent persists. Candidates are still firmly at the helm, and they should relish the opportunity to shop around for a job that works best for them – with flexible working allowances, wellbeing support programs, childcare support, or other benefits.”
She added that employees want better career prospects at their current employer, “further underscoring that employers must continue to prioritize the employee experience in order to stay competitive”.
“We know that using too many tech tools frustrates workers. Technology should be the foundation that enables a happier and more productive workforce – it shouldn’t cause more work.
“To retain talent, employers must drain their technology swamps, ensuring they only invest in connected solutions that really help employees in their jobs. Only then will the vacancy numbers stay down.”
The time to act is now; surviving and thriving amid the ‘Great Resignation’ requires quick adaptation.