Emerging staff shortages potential to dent businesses’ potential for growth and expansion

Filed under Press release

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Today’s labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a record number of available vacancies at 833,000 for June to August 2018, 44,000 more than the previous year and the highest since comparable records began in 2001.


The unemployment rate was 4.0% which has not been lower since December 1974 to February 1975, and there were 1.36 million unemployed people, 55,000 fewer than for February to April 2018 and 95,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 32.40 million people in work, 261,000 more than for a year earlier. 


Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) increased by 0.5% excluding bonuses, and by 0.2% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.


Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) chief executive, Neil Carberry commenting on ONS figures:


“With employment at record levels, emerging staff shortages have the potential to dent businesses’ potential for growth and expansion. Recruitment businesses are uniquely placed to help ease the pressures that they are facing.


“To ease the burden of candidate shortages on businesses, Government should prioritise reforming the apprenticeship levy to make it an effective skills policy rather than a tax, and deliver a post-Brexit immigration deal that allows people to come from the EU and make a contribution to the UK economy. Employers need clarity that this will be written into the Brexit deal in order to plan future investment and growth.”




Notes to Editors


1. For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2192 or pressoffice@rec.uk.com. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 0207 021 0584.

2. Our model predicted the unemployment rate would remain at 4.0% and that there would be a decline in unemployment of 69,000 in the three months to July.

3. The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was 4.0%; it has not been lower since December 1974 to February 1975. There were 1.36 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 55,000 fewer than for February to April 2018 and 95,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive) was 21.2%, higher than for February to April 2018 (21.0%) but unchanged compared with a year earlier.

4. Full data and PDF available here: 

5. Jobs transform lives, which is why we are building the best recruitment industry in the world. As the professional body for recruitment we’re determined to make businesses more successful by helping them secure the people they need. We are absolutely passionate and totally committed in this pursuit for recruiters, employers, and the people they hire. Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at www.rec.uk.com

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