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Latest findings show that the number of overall job vacancies is lower than usual for this time of year, but remains above pre-pandemic levels.

In May, there were 756,740 new job postings, which is a 1.1% decline compared to the previous month.

According to the REC, this fall could be connected to the increase in the National Minimum Wage.

Their findings show a particular drop in summer seasonal occupations, such as restaurant and catering establishment managers and proprietors (-38.1%), hotel and accommodation managers and proprietors (-44.5%), chefs (-32.5%), leisure and theme park attendants (-34.1%), gardeners and landscape gardeners (-21.9%) and most roles in construction.

REC Chief Executive Neil Carberry, commented, “The number of active job adverts remains above 1.7m which shows steady demand for workers despite slow progress in the wider economy.

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“Employers are intent on hiring and investing in their own business but are acting more cautiously because of economic and political uncertainty. We expect this to change as inflation stays low and interest rates drop over the summer.

“Emerging reports from REC members suggest some market improvement from April on, but that a second big increase in the national minimum wage has affected hiring levels in key sectors. We can see some evidence of that drag in the lower summer seasonal hiring demand we report today.

“Reducing hours or roles while opening for shorter periods are all decisions which firms may feel forced to make in tough times. Support for their businesses to improve growth and productivity – through an industrial strategy that properly focuses on workforce – will be vital after the election.”

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