LMI Bulletin (Issue 459)
Produced by the LMI Team at Education Development Trust
LMI Bulletin (Issue 459)
Good news that BT has designated its call centre in Newcastle as a key site which hopefully protects those jobs (Business Live)
Prospects for a state of the art workplace in Seaham. Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) has invested more than £3m on a lease on a new building on Spectrum Business Park. The space will provide GAS with the capacity to employ more than 1,000 people in a Covid-compliant, socially-distant working environment. The fit-out is now underway and the plan is for the business to move into the building at the end of 2020 (Bdaily)
Real end of an era times but the demolition of the steelworks in Redcar is due to start next year which will provide work for 300 people. (Tees Valley Combined Authority)
This is the latest information from ONS on the number of vacancies in the UK. This data is taken from a sample of employers who are asked for for any positions for which they are looking for external candidates.
For May to July 2020, there were an estimated 370,000 vacancies in the UK, which is 10% higher than the record low in April to June 2020. Some smaller businesses are reporting taking on additional staff to meet coronavirus guidelines. Estimated vacancies for May to July 2020 are 453,000 fewer than for May to July 2019.
So there is some good news in there although vacancies are still way down compared to last year.
Labour Market Update
It is not always easy trying to make sense of labour market statistics. For example, the latest ONS labour market figures for the North East show that in the last quarter - April to June 2020, unemployment fell and employment increased. You would normally expect that a fall in unemployment might be accompanied by a rise in economic inactivity - that's the people who are not actively looking for work, however this also fell. It is a relief to know that ONS is warning against trying to interpret regional statistics at the moment as these are, as we know, unprecedented times and more specifically, the impact of the job retention scheme which has put many people into a form of suspended animation neither working (although they would be classed as employed by ONS) nor looking for work.
Another indicator of the state of the labour market is the claimant count and even that is not without its difficulties as enhancements to the benefits system meant more people became entitled to unemployment benefits although still being in work. The figured released on the 11th August, show that in July there were 125,000 claimants in the North East, This is a 70% increase since February.
In Cumbria the July claimant count was 14,205. This was an increase of over 100% since February.
A further refinement of the claimant count is to look at the data on the number of people on Universal Credit who are in the conditionality 'searching for work'. In the North East this also shows an increase of 70% since February. Somewhat surprisingly, it is Northumberland (tourism/hopsitality perhaps?) which has seen the largest increase and Hartlepool the smallest.
In Cumbria, the number of people on UC in the same conditionality over the same period, had increased by 110%, with Lakeland and Eden seeing much larger increases. The difficulties in Cumbria probably influenced by the significantly larger size of its tourism/hospitality economy.