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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

REC response to ONS labour market figures, January 2023

Press releases

This morning (Tuesday 17 January) the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its latest labour market update. Responding to the figures, Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), said:

“Today’s official labour market data confirms the trends that business surveys have been suggesting for some time. Demand for workers is still higher than pre-pandemic, which combines with candidate shortages to make hiring workers a challenge. Slower economic performance and high inflation is starting to slow this trend, but it has not reversed. High inflation and a tight labour market have also fed into higher pay for existing and new staff, a challenge to companies who are facing rising costs across the board. At an unpredictable time, it is also no surprise to see firms dipping into the UK’s world-leading temporary work market for short-term access to key skills.

“For businesses, this report confirms the need to keep investing in getting hiring right because even in a slower economy we are likely to still have a tight labour market. Working with a professional recruitment partner is an essential part of that. For governments, supporting people into work from inactivity must be a priority – but that must be tied to a wider plan for long-term growth and workforce sustainability.”

For more information and interview enquiries, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2157 or Outside of regular office hours, please call 07702 568 829.

Find out more about the REC's new research, Overcoming shortages: How to create a sustainable labour market.