It is undoubtedly true that from the onset of the pandemic many companies in the UK have found it difficult to hire new employees.
The question you may be asking yourself is, if people do need jobs, why then is it difficult to hire? Well, we are about to find out why.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the reasons why there has been an increase in labour shortages in the UK.
1. Increase in demand for remote working
From the beginning of the pandemic, there has been growth in remote working.
Many people have quit their jobs to find remote jobs or start a business. Companies have also allowed their employees to work from home to save on office infrastructure and many other expenses.
There are so many platforms online where you can get a majority of these services that would normally be unavailable online.
On the employees’ side, remote working has brought in a lot of conveniences.
One of the benefits of remote working to the employee is that it saves a lot of commuting stress. One also has time to focus on other important stuff that would otherwise be inconvenient while working from the office, for example taking part-time classes.
This has increased the demand for remote jobs among the working community.
With everyone wanting a job that they can be allowed to work from home, we forget that it is impossible to work from home in other professions.
We do not expect healthcare workers, baristas, bartenders, gardeners, chefs, and the police to work from home, do we?
You can even tell from the number of students who are now switching their career paths to careers that can potentially allow them to work from home.
Hiring for such kinds of jobs has become difficult, especially in the UK.
2. The low Unemployment rate in the UK
Best of statistics UK is among The few countries in Europe and across the world with a very low unemployment rate.
The reason for the very low unemployment rate is that Britain has a very flexible labour market. Companies have also chosen to invest more in labour.
The UK is also notorious for being a hub of qualified professionals with so many local and International graduates ready to be absorbed into the labour market.
Companies take this opportunity to ensure they get the best professionals.
This of course is an overall average of the UK’s labour market and may not apply to all areas across the UK. In some parts of the UK, the unemployment rate is still high but on average it is fair to say the UK has a low unemployment rate compared to many countries.
3. Surging annual pay
Where the unemployment rate is low like in the UK there is a definite increase in the average salary.
If a company or a person hiring cannot meet the average salary, it becomes difficult to find somebody who can take the same job for lower pay.
To also find somebody who is professionally fit for the position will mean increasing the pay because of the high educational standards or experience.
4. Furlough schemes due to CoronaVirus
A very simple explanation to why there are labour shortages in the UK is because of the Furlough schemes.
Why go to work when you can sit at home and get paid?
In a bid to protect employees who lost their job as a result of the pandemic, the government offered financial support of up to 80%.
While employers and the government hope that normalcy may return soon to lessen the burden of paying furloughed employees, many employees are rooting for the opposite.
We should not forget that employers need labour to keep their businesses running. In the meantime, these job positions remain vacant.
5. Health risk
Finally, all over the world millions of people have quit their jobs because of the pandemic.
Before vaccination, a majority of the people refused to take up jobs that involve risking their health.
The health risk involved in taking up jobs has made it difficult for employers to recruit new employees to fill up vacant positions.
People are worried about getting sick in the course of work as for the majority of workers they are needed at home to tend to their children and family.