The UK jobs market is defying gloomy recession forecasts, but economists have warned joblessness could rise as the country limps into the worst of the cost of living crisis, a new survey published today reveals.
Vacancies surged to 1.85m last month, the highest this year, in a sign employers are still trying to grab new staff despite historic high inflation softening the economy, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
Demand for actors, entertainers and presenters is rising at the fastest pace of any occupation, with the number of vacancies for these roles up 13 per cent over the last month.
The jump has likely been driven by arts venues scrambling to find idled thespians after they were laid off during the height of the pandemic when theatres were shuttered.
Driving instructor vacancies climbed at the second fastest pace, possibly caused by firms stepping up efforts to clear a backlog of tests that mounted during Covid-19.
London’s jobs market is the strongest in the UK, the REC said. Vacancies in Highbury and Islington grew at the second fastest pace in the country, up over seven per cent.
The REC said elevated vacancies may be caused by employers having to keep advertisements live for months due to worker shortages.
Unemployment has stayed low despite the UK economy buckling under the weight of inflation climbing to 9.4 per cent, a 40-year high.
Households are expected to slash spending in reaction to the cost of living crisis intensifying over the winter.
In downturns, businesses typically shed workers and rein in hiring activity in anticipation of a slump in demand.
The Bank of England thinks Britain will from the final three months of this year drop into the longest recession since the financial crisis. Joblessness will climb to over six per cent, the Bank said.
“There is a danger that with costs soaring, employers will have to reprioritise” by shedding workers, Kate Shoesmith, deputy chief executive of the REC, said.
Businesses’ margins are being hit by swelling costs and waning consumer spending, which typically forces them to cut staff.