UK employment back to pre-pandemic levels for first time, study finds

Britain’s labor market strength has recovered to pre-pandemic levels for the first time, new research shows. The latest business trends report from business advisory firm BDO revealed that employment conditions improved for the fourth month in a row in February.

BDO’s monthly employment index in the report rose to 110.75 for the month, representing an increase of 0.77 points from the previous month. The reading represents the highest level on the index since February 2020, before the pandemic hit the UK fully.

It is also significantly above the 95 point level, indicating growth in the UK labor market. This jump in the employment index was driven by the lifting of Covid restrictions and the resulting improved economic outlook.

Consumer demand has rebounded considerably in recent months, fueling a need for more staff in many sectors. A shortage of workers due to Brexit and the pandemic has also made competition for employees fierce, the report also says.

The lifting of the remaining coronavirus restrictions also led to an increase in the BDO’s optimism index, which rose 0.9 points to 105.81 in February, marking a second consecutive month of improvement after the related decline. at Omicron in December.

Kaley Crossthwaite, Partner at BDO, said: “Supported by the Government’s furlough scheme, the UK labor market has largely held up throughout the pandemic. As we emerge from a series of shutdowns and return to normal, the job market is now shifting from resilience to growth, as evidenced by buoyant February numbers.

“While it is promising to see growth in business optimism through February, this may be short-lived as inflation continues to rise at a faster rate than wages. The pressures Inflationary inflationary pressures are expected to intensify further in the coming months, with energy and fuel prices being the main drivers of this increase.

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