More job vacancies than unemployed

For the first time since records began, there are more job vacancies than unemployed people in the UK.

The latest report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that in January-March 2022 there was a decrease in the unemployment rate, while the employment and inactivity rates increased.

The UK employment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points on the quarter to 75.7% but is still below the level recorded before Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 3.7%, its lowest for almost 50 years.

Job vacancies in the period rose to a new high of 1.3 million.

This reflects a reduction in the size of the workforce after Brexit, older workers retiring during the pandemic and a rise in long-term sickness, said BBC News.

Despite the shortage of workers, however, wages are failing to keep pace with price rises and this problem is expected to get worse due to rising costs for food, fuel and energy.

Pay, excluding bonuses, rose by 4.2% in January-March 2022 while inflation hit 7% in March and is expected to peak at over 10% later this year.