Productivity falls for fourth consecutive quarter: REC response

Filed under Press release

Tuesday, 08 October 2019

UK productivity fell by 0.5% between April and June 2019 compared with the same quarter last year, according to new figures released by the ONS today. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of negative growth for labour productivity.

The news comes as the REC’s Report on Jobs shows employers are scaling back their hiring plans amid continued Brexit uncertainty. 

Tom Hadley, director of policy and campaigns of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said:

“As productivity falls for another quarter, government needs to ask itself serious questions about how to sustain rising pay and meet ambitions for a higher National Living Wage.
“Addressing skills shortages is part of the answer to this conundrum. As REC’s jobs data shows, businesses up and down the country, in sectors like IT, healthcare and logistics, are struggling to find the skills they need. In the shadow of Brexit uncertainty, businesses are also scaling back ambitions to hire new staff and invest in their operations. 

“But this isn’t just about skills, it is also about employers getting the best of their people through good management practices and by boosting progression opportunities. Government can help by reforming the apprenticeship levy to help those on temporary and flexible contracts. This must be paired with an evidence-based approach to future immigration policy, and a negotiated and orderly exit from the EU.”


Notes to Editors:  

1. The ONS UK productivity report for Q2 2019 can be found here.
2. The KPMG and REC Report on Jobs is a survey of 400 recruitment and employment consultancies about the labour market, compiled every month by IHS Markit. More information can be found here.

Press enquiries:

For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2129 or An ISDN line is available for interviews on 0207 021 0584.

Click here to view all REC press releases.

The REC is all about brilliant recruitment, which drives our economy and delivers opportunity to millions. As the voice of the recruitment industry, we champion high standards, speak up for great recruiters, and help them grow. Recruitment is a powerful tool for companies and candidates to build better futures for themselves and a strong economy for the UK. Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at

Back to top
Award winning services AEA award logoAssociation Excellence Awards 2017MemCom 2017 Awards