REC response to ONS labour market stats, January 2019

Filed under Press release

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

 

Supply of staff remains a challenge and threat to business growth

 

Today’s labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the number of vacancies at 853,000 for October to December 2018, 10,000 more than for July to September 2018, 39,000 more than for a year earlier and the joint-highest estimate since comparable records began in 2001.

 

The unemployment rate was estimated at 4.0%, the lowest since December 1974 to February 1975. There were an estimated 1.37 million unemployed people, little changed compared with June to August 2018 but 68,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

 

The employment rate was at 75.8%, higher than for a year earlier (75.3%) and the highest since comparable estimates began in 1971. There were an estimated 32.53 million people in work, 141,000 more than for June to August 2018 and 328,000 more than for a year earlier.

 

Average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) increased by 1.1% excluding bonuses, and by 1.2% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

 

Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) director of policy Tom Hadley commenting on ONS figures:

 

“Despite the ongoing political turbulence, employers are continuing to hire. Today’s data shows a joint-record number of vacancies, underlining the fact that the supply of staff remains a major challenge and a threat to business growth. 

 

“Reassuring people from the EU working across a range of sectors in the UK must remain a priority, with yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister to scrap EU citizens’ settled status fee sending out a much needed positive message.

 

“However the politics play out over the coming weeks and months, employers will need to continue innovating in how they hire and attract staff to fill vacancies. Recruitment professionals will play a pivotal role in finding new ways of meeting workforce challenges in high-demand sectors, ranging from engineering and healthcare to hospitality, construction and logistics”.

 

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 remain at 4.1% and that there would be an increase in unemployment of 9,000 in the three months to November.


3. The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was estimated at 4.0% – it has not been lower since December 1974 to February 1975. There were an estimated 1.37 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), little changed compared with June to August 2018 but 68,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The employment rate was at 75.8%, higher than for a year earlier (75.3%) and the highest 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 8.65 million, 100,000 fewer than for June to August 2018 and 86,000 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 estimated at 21.0%, lower than for a year earlier (21.2%) and the joint-lowest estimate 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 1.1% excluding bonuses, and by 1.2% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.


5. Full data and PDF available here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/january2019 


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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