United Kingdom is going through an employment crisis. Currently, there are more than 1.3 million job vacancies. However, for the first time there are not enough people looking for work.
Impact of Coronavirus
The coronavirus had drastically affected the employment across the globe. Companies were forced to lay off employees amid lockdowns and other restrictions. Although the restrictions are now removed and job markets are open. Yet, employers across the world are finding it difficult to attract and retain workers back to work. In United States there are referring this as an era of “Great Resignation”. Similarly, situation in Britain is no different. Almost 450,000 people have simply left the workforce since 2019 and are now “economically inactive”. It means that they are neither working nor they are looking for work.
Large number of inactive workers
Interestingly, most people of inactive workers falls in 50+ age bracket. ONS conducted a survey of the leavers in February 2022. They found that almost half of these people have opted out of work voluntarily. Moreover, three fifth of these workers are not even planning to get back to work. Chris Giles of Ft has termed the crisis as “the most urgent problem facing the UK economy”. According to Bank of England, there are 900,000 fewer workers than their estimates in 2019 prior to COVID-19 eruption.
What needs to be done
Places across the UK where job vacancies are concentrated are likely to experience sharp economic contractions if they are unable to attract more workers soon. Yet the areas that have experienced drops or weak growth in vacancies compared to before the pandemic are also a concern. The government must devise geographically targeted policies to curb the issue of labor shortage. The employers must offer attractive packages including training and flexible working. Moreover, local and national authorities must ensure adequate local availability of affordable housing.
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