REC response to April 2019 ONS labour market figures

Filed under Press release

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

 

Today’s labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the number of vacancies at 852,000 for January to March, 32,000 more than a year earlier.

 

The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%; it has not been lower since November 1974 to January 1975. There were an estimated 1.34 million unemployed people, 76,000 fewer than for a year earlier and 914,000 fewer than for five years earlier.

 

The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1%, higher than for a year earlier (75.4%) and the joint-highest figure on record, with 32.72 million people in employment, 457,000 more than for a year earlier. The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.7%, lower than for a year earlier (21.2%) and the joint-lowest figure on record.

 

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

 

“Today’s figures demonstrate the strength of the jobs market, which is a key UK success story. There are opportunities out there for job-seekers to move and take their careers to the next level. 

 

“While progress on employment has slowed in the face of uncertainty about Brexit and slower global growth, our surveys show that firms are still experiencing shortages of key staff. This is a big risk to future growth.

 

“Recruiters are working with their clients to address shortages, playing a pivotal role for more and more firms as shortages bite. But businesses, recruiters and employees need government to back them up. A strong start would be changing skills policy to help fill key shortage roles. Reforming the apprenticeship levy into something that can help temporary workers develop their careers is an essential part of this.”

 

Click here to view all REC press releases.

 

ENDS

 

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 rise slightly from 3.9% to 4.0% and that there would be a decrease in unemployment of 23,000 in the three months to February.

 

3. The unemployment rate actually remained at 3.9% – it has not been lower since November 1974 to January 1975. There were 1.34 million unemployed people, 27,000 fewer than for September to November 2018 and 76,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The employment rate was at 76.1%, higher than for a year earlier (75.4%) and the joint-highest figure since comparable estimates began in 1971. The number of people aged from 16 to 64 years not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) was 8.54 million, 114,000 fewer than for September to November 2018 and 213,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The economic inactivity rate was 20.7%, the joint-lowest figure since comparable estimates began in 1971.

 

4. Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) increased by 1.5% excluding bonuses, and by 1.6% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

 

5. Full data and PDF available here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/april2019

 

6. 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 www.rec.uk.com.


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