No more furlough! Record levels of job vacancies show the country is back on track

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Data from the Office for National Statistics yesterday showed there were an estimated 953,000 vacancies from May to July this year. The total was up 290,000 from the previous quarter and was 168,000 more than the pre-pandemic level reached in early 2020.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s figures show that our Plan For Jobs is working – saving people’s jobs and getting people back into work.

“I know there could still be bumps in the road but the data is promising.

“There are now more employees on payrolls than at any point since March 2020 and the number of people on furlough is the lowest since the scheme launched. We are continuing to support people across the country to boost their skills and find great jobs.

“For example, through apprenticeships, our Kickstart scheme and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.”

Arts, leisure and food service firms particularly contributed to the surge in job openings, the figures showed. The number of employees on company payrolls also rose by 182,000 to 28.9 million last month.

Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies, said: “Nearly two million people started a new job between April and June, the highest that we’ve ever seen.

“Vacancies continue to rise, with more than a million job openings in the single month of July – another record.”

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