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With the ONS report published last week, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has responded to the latest labour market figures.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, commented, “The labour market is tighter than it has ever been right now. Unemployment is low, but employment levels are still significantly lower than before the pandemic. We also have rising numbers of people who aren’t working but also aren’t looking for a job. Finding ways to tempt some of them back into work will be very important in the coming months.

“Luckily we also have a thriving temporary work market that is proving its worth by helping firms bridge the gap.

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“Businesses who want to hire permanently will need to find new and creative ways to attract new people and look after the staff they have – consulting with a recruitment expert is an important way to get the best advice on this.

“Regular pay grew by 4% on average over the past year, which would normally be a healthy amount – but at the moment, that still puts it below inflation. Pay setting this year will be hard for businesses, with their costs increasing across the board as tax and uncapped energy prices rise. Firms will need to balance this with the knowledge that they want to protect staff who are facing similar rises.”

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