Home Economics Business Studies Search the Guru Links Message Boards Contacts

Job Vancancies


Why are so many jobs left unfilled in the economy?

Official unemployment has been falling for over six years yet the total stock of unfilled vacancies has remained at a very high level for some time. See the chart below.



One reason is that the new jobs created in the economy are not taken by the registered unemployed. Instead they are taken by new and re-entrants into the labour market (including females joining the active labour force and recently qualified graduates).


Long-term structural unemployment remains a problem and many of those out of work do not have the specific skills, qualifications and relevant work experience to fill the available jobs. They suffer from occupational mobility of labour and require specific help to get them back into employment.


Labour introduced the New Deal in the spring of 1998 but it will be some time before New Deal and other employment training programmes to have any significant impact.


Another cause is the disincentive effects of the welfare system. Many vacancies offer relatively poorly paid jobs with little job security.


For low-income households looking for new work, the “poverty trap” created by the interaction of the tax and benefit system is a real hurdle to them accepting paid employment. As a result many lowly paid jobs remain open.




E-mail Steve Margetts