Job vacancies in the UK have decreased for the eighth consecutive month, and the number of companies going bankrupt has doubled, prompting calls for a tax cut on Budget day.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed that vacancies fell by 51,000 to 1.12 million in the three months leading up to February.
Despite this, it is still close to record highs, but the ONS stated that the decline could reflect uncertainty and economic pressures in different industries.
Figures from the Insolvency Service revealed that there were 158 compulsory liquidations last month, which was twice the number in February 2022.
In April, firms could be affected by a double whammy as corporation tax rises to 25%, and the super deduction, a tax break for businesses investing in machinery and factories, ends.
Although Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has shown no signs of wavering on the tax plan, reports suggest he may be preparing to offer tax breaks for business investment to replace the super deduction.
Brian McBride, president of the Confederation of British Industry, said that Mr Hunt “must act” to prevent investors from being spooked.
While ONS figures showed that unemployment remained at 3.7% between November and January, pay growth is slowing down.