Hopes of V-shaped bounce grow as vacancies at 62pc of last year’s
HIRING is back as the economy reopens and bosses take on more staff, raising hopes of a jobs recovery after months of pain during lockdown.
More than 1.1m positions are available in Britain according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), including an extra 125,000 new postings in the past week.
The figures will boost economists predicting a rapid “V-shaped” bounce back. They were revealed as US data showed that the number of people being laid off each week across the pond is continuing to fall.
Back in the UK, online adverts for vacancies now stand at 62pc of their 2019 level – up from just over half in late July and a low of 42pc in May, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Previously closed industries are bringing back furloughed workers after being allowed to restart, with growth building in arts, entertainment, pubs and restaurants as the nation inches back to normality.
Fewer than 14pc of all private sector staff are now paid to stay at home through the taxpayer subsidy scheme, down by more than half from the peak several months ago.
Over 19 in every 20 businesses are now open or planning a return within weeks. Demand is surging for builders, gardeners and lorry drivers, the REC found, as well as childminders – and, less reassuringly, debt collectors.
It came as the number of new jobless claims in the US slowed again to 963,000 last week, the first time since the pandemic struck that the key indicator has fallen below 1m. The drop is bigger than economists expected and down from 1.2m for the previous seven days.
Lydia Boussour, of Oxford Economics, said it was an encouraging sign and suggests the jobs recovery is regaining momentum following a damaging second wave of infections that forced states such as California, Florida and Texas to reintroduce restrictions.
However, she pointed out that 28m workers are still claiming some form of jobless benefit in a sign of the mountain facing America’s economy.
Before the pandemic, around 200,000 new claims were typically made per week.
Meanwhile in France unemployment fell by 271,000 in the second quarter, but this was mainly because large numbers of jobless have given up looking for work and so no longer qualify as officially “unemployed”.
The employment rate dropped from 66pc to 64.4pc, according to French official agency Insee.