November 11th 2021, what's going on with the UK job market?

Previously, on The UK Job Market 

Last month we saw the end of furlough. Cue cries of mass redundancies on the horizon. New Brexit visa rules caused a lorry driver shortage and fears of empty Christmas stockings as a result. And the employed were getting comfy in their roles instead of risking a move in the ever-changing and, consequently, ever uncertain market. It wasn’t all bad news though, the World Economic Outlook reported that the UK was recovering faster than any other European country. Hoorah!

So, what did happen when furlough was lifted? 

Okay, so it’s probably too early to know for sure yet but it looks like things were recovering well before the official return to work deadline on October 1st. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, reported that since the end of April, as restrictions started to ease, 2.4 million people have returned to work. Probably most notably to the hospitality industry. Someone has to serve the pints, and some of us have to drink them. There’s no real data yet confirming or debunking the mass redundancy claims however it seems we’re in a good place. The economy is growing, more employees are on payrolls than ever before and unemployment has fallen for eight months in a row. Plus, a survey by Odro users Hays found that 80% of UK employers plan to hire over the next 12 months.

What about the empty Christmas stockings?

If the tabloids are to be believed there are no lorry drivers which means holidays are not coming. But are we really all on the naughty list? That’s what we want to know. Well the answer, it would seem is both yes and no. Back to the UK Government for this one, this time Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers have been added to the existing visa scheme until Christmas 2021 to help ease supply chain pressures in food and haulage industries during this year’s exceptional circumstances. Because as well as there being noone to drive the lorries, there was noone to do whatever gets done to the turkeys. We’re not as fussed about that because if we’re all honest, turkey is dry and we’re really there for the pigs in blankets and gravy. But how can we expect people to stay and sort out our Christmas issue when we quite openly told them we didn’t want them? Bit rude if you ask me. But good news if it’s the Christmas booze you’re worried about as The Mirror are reporting that “Wine Trains” will be bringing our tipple in from Europe, so at least there’s that.

Won’t budge 

It was predicted people would get comfy and be hesitatant to move jobs. Hays’ survey solidified this, finding that only half of employees plan to move in the next 12 months. This is the lowest number reported in the Hays’ survey for eight years. People made their big life changes inbetween lockdowns in 2020 when we were all forced to sit back and really consisder what was important to us. So people are either already in their happy new start or they’re nervous about moving in these… say it with me, unprecedented times. As Kylie, or Steps depending what generation you’re from, said it’s better the devil the you know. If you were furloughed last time, or continued to work through and didn’t loose your job at the other end then it’s understandable you would feel grateful and cautious to move on to a potentially less stable role.

How to use the limbo period to your advantage 

As always, people start to slow down before Christmas and noone is keen to make any changes. Even when there isn’t the ever looming threat of lockdown 5.0, or is it 6.0? So we find ourselves playing a bit of a waiting game. For now, you can:
  • Continue to build connections and strong relationships with clients and candidates because they may well come in handy if we see a big shake up in 2022.
  • Look for trends, so you can stay one step ahead of the game. With Brexit being in the news for what seems like a lifetime, was the skills shortage really a surprise? If you can see what’s coming you can be prepared.
  • Keep your facts right. Tabloids can be dramatic, politicians can be bias, LinkedIn can be… well LinkedIn can be a lot of things. You can’t rely on one news source to get your information.
And that’s it, folks. Jenny from the Blog’s rundown on the happs for now! Catch you next time.
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