PBE Reacts: ONS Labour Market Statistics, 14 September 2021 In response to today’s ONS release of Labour Market Statistics, Madison Kerr, Economist at Pro Bono Economics, said: “The country’s breathless economic rebound from the pandemic has broken records for a second month running with vacancies rising over one million for the first time ever. Optimism in the labour market was also boosted by an extra 241,000 people entering work in August. “But not everyone is sharing in the recovery. The number of people unemployed for more than a year jumped by 34,000 on the previous quarter. Those with lower qualifications, along with disabled and ethnic minority jobseekers, are facing significant challenges. “With the government focussed on levelling up, it is important to recognise the different challenges across the country. Employment rates have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels in both Wales and the East of England. But they remain some way off that mark in many other parts of the country, with the East Midlands and North West performing particularly weakly. “The task of supporting these vulnerable groups will fall to charities that are straining more than ever to aid those hardest-hit by the pandemic. The role of the social sector in this recovery is vital to the government’s priorities of levelling up and ‘building back better’.” Contact PBE's press office here.