Rising employment figures mask another problem, says KPMG
“With the number of people in work continuing to climb, most people would be forgiven for thinking that the economy can only move in one direction. The natural assumption is, after all, that more jobs equals more confidence equals more growth.
“Yet one question that remains unanswered revolves around why job opportunities are unevenly spread. For all the talk of spare capacity in the labour market, it does seem that opportunities don’t necessarily exist in the right places. Labour mobility is also clearly an issue, meaning that both employers and Government will have to work hard to be enablers, as well as better payers.
“Employers will struggle (to) find staff with the right skills, simply by splashing cash and offering higher salaries. Only last week, our own Report on Jobs suggested that starting salaries have reached a 17 year high – but it suggested that job vacancies are not being filled because staff want their remuneration to be about more than take home pay. With rising house prices, low interest rates and, now, higher inflation, many want a deal which offers tangible benefits so they stretch their income as far as possible. Until they do, the jobs figures will look good – but not as good as they could.”