Responding to today’s ONS figures, Jonathan Boys, labour market economist for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, comments:

"This is an incredibly strong set of labour market figures. Unemployment isn’t quite at pre-pandemic levels but is heading in that direction fast.

“On some key metrics we are already back to pre-pandemic levels, notably vacancies and redundancies. The dramatic rise and fall of the redundancy rate suggest that the end of furlough will be a smooth transition that won’t result in too many job losses. Indeed, any anxiety over job losses has been replaced by a fear of skills shortages. These are biting hard in some sectors, notably hospitality which has a record number of job vacancies as businesses scramble to reopen hoping for a bumper summers trading. 

Boys continues: “A year ago labour market forecasts were gloomy and expected post-financial crisis levels of unemployment. But today the labour market is fast taking on its pre-pandemic form which is great news for workers. Tight labour markets can tilt the balance of power in their favour. Employers will have to work harder to attract and retain talent. Paying more is one solution; with skills shortages and inflation starting to bite, workers will be able to demand more money. However, in the long-term, investing in training and skills can ensure robust talent pipelines.”

If you wish to reproduce this press release in full on your website, please link back to the original source.

CIPD Media Centre

an interview

To get a fresh, evidence-based perspective from one of our expert commentators – on this or any other workplace issue – please contact our press team on +44(0)20 8612 6400 or

Callout Image

Championing better work and working lives

About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.