Number of people in employment remains the highest it’s ever been

Filed under Press release

Tuesday, 12 June 2018


Today’s labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows wage growth continues. Average weekly earnings for employees in the UK in real terms increased by 0.4%excluding bonuses, and by 0.1% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.


The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been for 43 years at 4.2%, down from 4.6% for a year earlier. This means we are seeing more people in work -32.39 million which is 146,000 more than for November 2017 to January 2018 and 440,000 more than for a year earlier.


Recruitment& Employment Confederation (REC) head of policy, Sophie Wingfield commentson ONS figures:


We know that higher starting salaries are used to attract the right candidates in an ever tightening labour market, but this is still not translating in to broader wage rises across the country. For candidates moving jobs there is a strong chance of getting a pay rise”.


“Our own Report on Jobs data shows that demand for staff has increased this month, but we have seen a further fall in staff availability. Whilst it is encouraging to see a rise in employment figures, a lack of candidates remains a major challenge for recruiters - particularly in areas like nursing, engineering, manufacturing and IT. Staff shortages are becoming business critical in many of these key sectors”.


“With skills needs and candidate expectations continuing to evolve, employers need to do more to attract the right people.Government can help by ensuring the future UK workplace has the skills needed and put in place a balanced and evidence-based immigration system post-Brexit.”




Notes toEditors


1.    Formore information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2192 or An ISDN lineis available for interviews on 0207 021 0584.


2.    Our model predicted the unemployment rate would remainunchanged at 4.2% and that there would be a decline inunemployment of 46,000 in the three months to April.


3.    The unemployment rate actually remained at 4.2%,the joint lowest since 1975, and there were 1.42million unemployed people, 38,000 fewer than for November 2017 toJanuary 2018. The number of people in employment has also gone up (146,000 more than for November 2017 to January 2018) andthe employment rate was at 75.6%, the joint highest since 1971.


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 theprofessional body for recruitment we’re determined to make businesses moresuccessful by helping them secure the people they need. We are absolutely passionateand totally committed in this pursuit for recruiters, employers, and the peoplethey hire. Find out more about the Recruitment &Employment Confederation at


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