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REC Responds to Labour Market Statistics

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Commenting on today’s publication of labour market statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which shows growth in real term pay dropped to 0.1 per cent in the period December 2016 – February 2017, Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green says:

“The labour market is moving in a positive direction, with employment at a record high and unemployment still falling. Our monthly jobs report shows placements via recruiters are increasing and demand for staff is at an 18 month peak, so it’s likely employment numbers will continue to creep up.

“However, wage growth is slowing as inflation is rising, meaning people are feeling the pinch as their take home pay doesn’t stretch as far. Our data shows employers are increasing starting salary offers to compete for the limited talent available. People will be tempted to move jobs as a way of increasing income, especially if pay in their current role remains static. As demand for staff increases yet supply of candidates deteriorates, employers need to reward their staff so they retain them.

“It’s already really tough to find candidates and skills shortages have been intensifying. Sectors across the economy, from healthcare to food manufacturing, are reliant on EU workers. They’re getting increasingly worried about how they’ll cope if recruiting from abroad becomes even harder post-Brexit.”