Job vacancies show sharp rise despite record employment levels

numbers are at record levels, but the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
shows high rates of vacancies as employers struggle to fill positions.

ONS vacancy survey estimates there were 631,000 unfilled vacancies in the
quarter to May 2004, up 48,300 thousand (8.3 per cent) on the same period last

latest labour market statistics show from February-April 2004 there were 30,000
more people in work than in the previous three months and 246,000 more than a
year ago.

are now 28.3 million people in work in the UK and the employment rate is 74.8
per cent, up from 74.6 per cent a year ago.

number of people in work has risen by 250,000 in the past 12 months and by 1.9
million over the past seven years.

of state for work and pensions Jane Kennedy said: "Unemployment is the
lowest for about 30 years and continues to fall. There has been a major
improvement in long-term unemployment, which is a quarter of the level it was
seven years ago."

By Michael Millar

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