Labor shortage drives vacancies to 20-year high | news

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, the shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry has worsened, at its highest level in 20 years.

Preliminary figures show that 38,000 jobs were open across the industry between May and July this year, compared with 32,000 between April and June.

It is the highest ranking in two decades, followed by the 34,000 positions available between March and May of this year.

Industry numbers were in line with the economy as a whole, with job openings also reaching record highs across the UK.

The number of job vacancies reached 953,000 in the three months to July, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in the three months to June.

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The data also showed that 2,121,000 were employed in construction in the three months ended July, up from 2,104,000 in the previous period.

The breakdown by gender showed that only women made up 14% of the workforce in this sector during this period.

Comparing wage growth across a range of industries, the ONS data showed that construction saw the highest annual percentage wage growth rate, up 14.3% from April to June 2021.

The industry with the second highest wage increases was finance and corporate services, where wages rose 12%.

The construction wage increase was particularly noteworthy as workers in the industry took the largest wage cut of any industry at the start of the pandemic, with wages falling 10.2% in the three months to June 2020.

Across all sectors, the average wage grew by 7.4% annually.

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