Rise in employment in Aberdeenshire as restrictions ease

Employment in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire rose last month as more than 1,500 workers joined company payrolls.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 6:00 am
More people found employment in Aberdeenshire last month.

But with the number of job vacancies across the UK hitting a record high, employers fear staff shortages could stall future growth following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Office for National Statistics data shows 221,953 people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire were on company payrolls in July – 1,757 (one per cen) more than in June.

Despite the increase, the figure is still some way off the 230,042 recorded in February last year – the month before the UK was plunged into its first Covid-19 lockdown.

The data also showed the median monthly salary for payrolled workers in the area rose from £2,030 in February last year to £2,126 in July this year – a £96 increase.

Across the UK, the number of payrolled workers increased by 182,000 between June and July to 28.9 million.

Arts, leisure and food service firms particularly contributed to the surge in job openings.

The Confederation of British Industry said the figures showed signs of recovery but added increased demand for workers was creating a new problem for companies.

Jennifer Beckwith, CBI's head of employment, said: "With employment up and unemployment down, the labour market is showing further signs of recovery. Yet, with vacancies at a record high, employers are concerned staff shortages are stalling their ability to grow and support the country’s wider economic recovery."

She said the Government should help by funding training for in-demand qualifications and removing barriers which stop firms being able to recruit from abroad.

Separate figures published by the ONS show that in Aberdeenshire, there was a fall in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits last month.

Around 5,285 people were on out-of-work benefits as of mid-July, down 155 from 5,440 in mid-June. It meant 3.3 per cent of the area's working population sought support in July, compared to 3.4 per cent a month earlier.

The figures include those aged 16 to 64 on Jobseeker’s Allowance and some Universal Credit claimants, who are unemployed and seeking work or employed but with low earnings.