Employers are finding vacancies harder to fill than ever. Government figures show there were 635,900 unfilled vacancies in the quarter to April 2005, up 7,500 (1.2%) on the same period last year.
The Office of National Statistics estimates more than 10,000 new vacancies are placed at Jobcentres every working day and at least as many again come up through other recruitment channels.
The outlook is getting tougher for employers looking to hire. Figures show 28.6 million people in work, up 196,000 on a year ago. Unemployment has fallen 37,000 to just under 1.4 million.
Redundancies have also hit an all-time low, reflecting how keen employers are to keep their staff. There were 127,000 redundancies in February to April, compared to 139,000 in the same period in 2004.
David Blunkett, work and pensions secretary, said: “The figures continue to tell a positive story about the British labour market. They demonstrate our success in creating more jobs, in cutting unemployment and moving people into work, particularly people who have in the past been outside the labour market.”
The statistics come as more employers look to hire staff. Eight of the nine industry sectors surveyed by Manpower are planning to take on staff next quarter.
Employers in the finance and construction sectors are most keen to hire with those in the agriculture sector the only ones to expect cutbacks.