Jansev Jemal, Research and Policy Director at PBE, said: 

“Warning signs of a potential recession are beginning to show as job vacancies saw their largest quarterly fall in two years. Nevertheless, vacancies still stand at 1.3 million, while unemployment actually fell 0.2 percentage points on the quarter to 3.6%.

“Alarmingly, the number of economically inactive has increased by 0.4pp on the quarter and now totals close to 9mn nationally. This is driven by students and a worrying proportion of people who are long-term sick, a number up 100,000 on the quarter to 2.5mn.

“This growing cohort of individuals with long-term ill health need specialist, tailored support to help them return to the workplace. There are charities across the UK that specialise in delivering the employability support that is widely needed, especially for those with mental ill health.

“It presents an opportunity for policymakers to engage with this network of charities with specialist expertise to design a programme aimed at increasing participation in the workplace.”

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