Jobs standstill due to combination of weaker demand for staff and limited supply of available workers

December 2004
Management Services;Dec2004, Vol. 48 Issue 12, p4
Academic Journal
The article deals with the 2004 labour market statistics published by Great Britain's Office for National Statistics. According to John Philpott, Chief Economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the jobs market is at a standstill. Despite continued good news on measured unemployment, hardly any net new jobs have been created this year and the employment rate for people of working age has fallen to 74.7 percent. The impact of higher productivity on jobs would have been more marked had hours worked not fallen--which in turn has kept redundancies at historically low levels. But CIPD survey evidence on recruitment difficulties also suggests that many jobless people are either unable or unwilling to fill available vacancies. A smaller active labour pool could itself help explain why employment has been growing more slowly if employers are struggling to find staff. The average number of unfilled job vacancies in the three months ending September 2004 was 662,800--55,700 more than the same period a year earlier. The fact that the labour market is currently subject to the forces of both weaker demand and limited supply makes it tricky to predict the future course of pay pressure.


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