UK vacancies stable after spring fall

14th October 2011 by Simon Ward

UK employment numbers this week were grim but had been foreshadowed by a drop in vacancies – a leading indicator – this spring.

Vacancies, however, have stabilised since the summer, suggesting that the labour market is stagnant rather than entering a new decline.

The earlier fall reflected public sector weakness as an increase in late 2010 and early 2011, partly related to temporary hires in connection with the recent census, unwound. Both private and public sector vacancies have been static recently.

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3 thoughts on “UK vacancies stable after spring fall”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Simon, a very thought-provoking summary. I live outside the UK (have done for the past 20+ years). but am considering coming back. As a pensioner I’m not concerned with finding a job – even part-time but would like to know your views on the medium term situation and its relevance to greater “upheaval” in UK in general. Thank you….

    1. Simon Ward says:

      Ray, Thanks for your comment. My guess is that unemployment will remain elevated over the next few years but below the level reached after the early 1980s and early 1990s recessions (12% and 10.5% respectively, vs 23% in the 1930s). This reflects real wage falls that should support the demand for labour as well as strong corporate finances, implying less need to cut labour costs.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Simon – thank you for your response.  I must say, in all honesty, that in many ways I am happy to be at the finale of my (working) life rather than being the potential target for falling into the “poverty-trap” as I feel this is one area that many in UK will eventually fall into. 

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