Job vacancies in the UK have hit a record high surging past 1 million, as the economic recovery continues, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The number of vacancies in the three months to August rose above one million for the first time since 2001. Other figures also showed employee numbers were back at the pre-Covid level in August. August payrolls showed another monthly increase of 241,000 to 29.1 million.

However, despite the return of staffing levels to pre-pandemic rates there remained a high demand for more staff, with the risk of labour shortages dampening growth.


What is happening to the people still on the furlough scheme?

We all know the furlough scheme protected millions of jobs during the pandemic and now, is entering its final weeks.

Employers need to decide whether to take back their furloughed workers or make them redundant.

Generally, an employer should have already started the redundancy process if it’s planning to let workers go by September 30th. Businesses don’t legally have to give furloughed workers notice that they are being called back to work, but it is recommended that they do so.

Vacancies jump above pre-pandemic level (total number of vacancies in the UK)

vacancies above pre-pandemic level

Source – Office For National Statistics


Young people aged 16-24 have been particularly affected by the pandemic, with the employment rate decreasing and the unemployment and economic inactivity rates increasing by more than seen for those aged over 25 years.

But with Brexit and Covid driving a decline in labour supply and ongoing shortages, firms are currently facing an ‘acute hiring crisis’. These recruitment difficulties are likely to dampen the recovery by limiting firms’ ability to fulfil orders and meet their customer needs.

The accommodation and food sectors saw the biggest increase in the number of jobs available in August, increasing by 57,600.

Which sectors are hiring? (June to August)



Which sectors are hiring UK

Source – Office For National Statistics


Companies in the food industry, which has seen a rapid shortage of fruit pickers and lorry drivers, have been unable to provide a normal service recently. Supermarkets have warned that it is vital to fix the labour shortage problems before key trading over Christmas.

If you are feeling uncertain about your current job position, please reach out to Project Start and our team of experienced recruitment consultants.

Here at Project Start Recruitment we will take time to understand the career path you are going down, target certain companies of interest and match you to the right role. Our consultants will remain supportive throughout the process and promise to offer you a good service all round.

This past month we have been super busy bringing in new vacancies across the UK, check the latest roles out here: https://www.projectstart.co.uk/jobs/

Please get in contact with us on 01454 529009 or email recruitment@projectstart.co.uk.