The Monster Jobs Confidence Index, created by jobs board Monster.co.uk and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), shows workers and job seekers confidence in the UK labour market has dropped to its lowest since 2014. Now standing at 61%, down from 64% in the last quarter.
The significant drop is due to increasing signs of a weakening labour market – growth in the number of job vacancies has started to slow down, with a drop of 1.4% since this time last year, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. The UK’s volatile political landscape is also having a substantial impact on levels of jobs confidence. Over a third (35%) of UK workers believe that the current political landscape is making them feel less confident about their current and future employment prospects
Whilst levels of jobs confidence have started to drop, real wages have grown 1.8% since the same period last year – the highest it’s been since 2016. Perceived job earnings security has also seen the biggest increase in sentiment since the start of the year, with the index showing that the share of workers reporting that they have no regular pay has fallen to 7.7% – a 0.6% decrease in three months.
State of the UK
People in Yorkshire and the Humber are the most confident in the country. Over half (56%) said they are confident about their employment prospects over the next six months. In comparison, only 45% in the East of England share the same view, making it the region with the least amount of jobs confidence.
However, unemployment levels are growing wider between the north and the south of the country compared to this time last year. The North East currently has the highest unemployment rate (5.3%), whilst the South West has the lowest (2.7%). A year earlier, the North East had an unemployment rate of 4.4%, and in the South West, the rate was at 3.0%.
Youngest workers are the most confident
The latest Monster Jobs Confidence Index finds that recent school leavers and graduates who are just entering the workforce feel less pessimistic about the country’s political climate than more experienced workers. 67% of graduates who left university in the last two years say that they feel confident about their career prospects and ability to progress in the next five years. The comparable statistic for people who left three or more years ago is 47%.
Looking by age bracket, those in the 35-44 year age group (39%) are the least confident about their job due to the current political landscape.
When looking at levels of education, recent school leavers are more confident than graduates. 78% of people who left school in the past two years are confident about their future career prospects and the ability to progress in the next five years. In comparison, 67% of recent graduates (last two years) share the same positive sentiment.
Jobs Confidence is going to keep dropping
With continued uncertainty around Brexit and ongoing discussions around a possible general election, it’s expected that confidence levels amongst workers are likely to keep falling as they are worried about what the future holds for them. Cebr is forecasting that the unemployment rate will increase to 4.2% by the end of next year, which is likely to impact confidence.
Derek Jenkins, Managing Director of Monster.co.uk, says,
“Ongoing political and economic uncertainty means workers across the country are, understandably, concerned about keeping their jobs and what the future holds for them.
“Despite increased negativity and weakening levels of confidence across the country, it is good that the younger generation are still feeling confident as they start their careers. Employers need to embrace this positivity by providing them with opportunities that will install long term confidence. Consider running company wide meetings so they can see the direction the business is taking, or providing training in valuable skills.”