Commenting on today’s publication of labour market statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which reports data for October – December 2016, Recruitment & Employment Confederation Chief Executive Kevin Green says:
“The employment rate is the highest since records began with 300,000 more people in jobs in the last year. However, employers are struggling to find and retain the people they need to do the jobs available, particularly in sectors like food manufacturing, hospitality and healthcare, which are heavily reliant on EU workers. The latest data shows a small fall in the number of EU nationals working in the UK – if this becomes a trend over the coming months these businesses will feel even more pressure.
“The falling economic inactivity rate could be a sign that older workers, particularly older women, are returning to the workforce. But there’s only so far this can go to help alleviate the skills shortage. The government needs to develop a long term approach to the UK labour market, which includes encouraging greater participation and increasing skills but also a balanced approach to immigration.”