Commenting on the latest ONS Labour Market statistics released today, Head of People Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce,  Jane Gratton,  said:

“The labour market remains incredibly tight, in many cases affecting firms’ ability to maintain normal operations.  Although these figures show the employment rate has risen it is having no noticeable impact on the overall number of job vacancies.

“The problems in the labour market are restricting growth and choking off any hope of a recovery for many firms; as inflation, supply chain disruption and energy costs also add to their headaches.

“But there are several avenues open to businesses and the government to shift this data in the right direction.

“We need to bring more economically inactive people back into the UK labour market by offering flexible working practices, rapid re-training opportunities and a focus on workplace healthcare and support.

“The Government must also reform the Shortage Occupations List criteria to include more jobs at more skill levels to give firms breathing space to train and upskill their workforce.

“The huge number of vacancies is holding back productivity and growth, and employers are at their wits’ end.”

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