The data, released yesterday (17 May), showed that for the first time since records began the UK has more job vacancies than those in unemployment.
The total number of UK job vacancies in February to April 2022 rose to a new record of 1,295,000; an increase of 33,700 from the previous quarter and an increase of 499,300 from the pre-Covid level in January to March 2020.
Vacancies across all industries were above January to March 2020 pre-Covid levels, with the largest increase in accommodation and food service where the number of available jobs was up 85,500 (100.6%).
“Recruitment continues to be a major challenge for the sector as it builds back after an extremely challenging two-year period,” says Sebastien Sepierre, managing director at global software provider Fourth.
“When it comes to labour, it’s more important than ever sector businesses are continuing to plan ahead, helping them to accurately manage demand and ensure they have the optimum number of staff across each and every shift.”
Earlier this month, figures released by workforce management specialist Bizimply found that to tackle the ongoing recruitment crisis in the sector, existing hospitality employees are clocking up more hours than previously, with staff now working an average of 25 hours a week, compared to 19 hours pre-pandemic.
In food-led businesses, employees are working an average 28 hour week, compared to around 23 hours in wet-led businesses.
Fine dining restaurants, which are among the worst affected by recruitment issues, are typically asking their staff to work 40-plus hours a week; while cafés and hotels are also seeing staff notch up longer than average weekly hours at work.