New official figures have revealed that job vacancies across the UK have fallen for the eighth time in a row. The news comes ahead of Wednesday’s budget in which Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, is expected to set out plans to encourage people back into work.
Jobs on the market fell throughout December and February by 51,000 compared with the three months prior. Although there has been another drop, the number of actual job vacancies remains high at 1.1 million.
The rate of economic activity in people aged between 16 to 64 also dipped to 21.3% between November and January, which was due to people between 16 and 24 getting jobs or looking for work.
The Office for National Statistics reported that there are still around nine million people across Britain who are not a part of the workforce due to being students, in retirement or suffering from long-term illness.
The chairman of recruitment firm Reed said that the fall in new jobs it not a cause for panic, telling the BBC’s Today show that: "Actually there are over 300,000 more vacancies than there were this time pre-pandemic, three years ago, so the labour market is pretty buoyant still which is surprising many people."
Employment rates in the UK rose to 75.7% between November and January, due to a rise in both part-time workers and the self-employed. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%.
That being said, new data from the Office for National Statistics suggests pay increases seem to be stalling. The average weekly salary in the UK, excluding bonuses, in February stood at £589, up by £1 on a month before. Throughout 2022, the average salary rose by nearly £3 a month.