Vacancies at their highest since the pandemic began

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Vacancies in the UK, up 48,400 on the previous quarter as lockdown measures ease and employers start to recruit.

The Office for National Statistics said there were “early signs of recovery”. From February to April, the unemployment rate fell down from 4.9% to 4.8%.

Although vacancies have risen in the past year, it is still 128,000 below pre-pandemic levels in the period of Jan to March 2020.

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ONS director of economic statistics, Daren Morgan, said, “With many businesses reopening, the recent recovery in job vacancies continued into April, especially in sectors such as hospitality and entertainment.”

“There remains, however, three-quarters of a million people fewer on the payroll compared with the pre-pandemic peak.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak spoke about the government’s focus on protecting jobs during the pandemic. “While sadly not every job can be saved, nearly two million fewer people are now expected to be out of work than initially expected – showing our Plan for Jobs is working.”

Business leaders warned there is still a long way to go, but the rise in vacancies show positive signs for the economy. The most promising indicator is that vacancies averaged 657,000 over the 3 months to April. ONS stated its experimental stats for April were “at near pre-pandemic levels”.

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