Responding to the latest labour market figures, showing a continuing fall in unemployment from 4.7% from April-June to 4.6% in May-July, Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
“The economy is now well-prepared for the end of furlough, with unemployment demonstrating a clear downward trend and the highest level of vacancies in the economy since records began.
“In fact, with 44% of IoD members reporting staff shortages, across all skill levels, the challenge for government is to put its money where its mouth is and demonstrate in practice how we can fill vacancies by investing in our domestic workforce in a post-Brexit world.
“Today’s data shows there may be a particular opportunity to use flexible working to increase employment rates among people who want to work remotely: inactivity rates due to ‘looking after family or home’ have fallen sharply since the pandemic hit [chart 7 here].
“The government now needs urgently to roll out and ramp up lifelong opportunities to retrain, including widening the scope of training provided through the apprenticeship levy.”