The UK braced for a jobs crisis, but had the unexpected


The government has therefore doubled its army of so-called work coaches, who help people on unemployment benefits find employment. It hired 13,500 more coaches, a larger force than that mobilized after the Great Recession of 2008.

At the end, the fallout was much less severe. After the UK Treasury extended the holiday program, unemployment peaked at 5.2% in December and now stands at 4.7%.

“It’s been a really quick rebound,” said Dan Taylor, managing director of Morgan Hunt, a recruiting company that helps fill jobs in about 600 organizations, mostly in the public sector.

In six months, the company has gone from “having difficulty finding jobs for candidates who are registered with us to a situation where we simply cannot find the qualified and experienced staff we need,” said Mr. Taylor. “I’ve never seen anything move that fast before.”

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey last month highlighted the evolving problem facing the country. “The challenge of avoiding a sharp rise in unemployment has been replaced by that of ensuring a flow of labor to jobs,” he said. “It’s a crucial challenge.”

Some industries are trying to buy their way out of this problem. Trucking, warehousing and logistics companies offer bonuses of up to 5,000 pounds (almost $ 7,000) to people who can get started right away.

When Morgan Hunt was helping a public housing agency hire a senior fire officer, for a salary of £ 90,000, or roughly $ 125,000, two people were willing to take the job – until a chain of greats stores ripped them off after offering a much higher salary, Mr. Taylor said. This has created a dilemma, as it is difficult to quickly expand the pool of candidates for a highly skilled job when there is a reluctance to hire less experienced staff.

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