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Number of People in Employment Remains the Highest it’s Ever Been – REC


Today’s labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows wage growth continues. Average weekly earnings for employees in the UK in real terms increased by 0.4% excluding bonuses, and by 0.1% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been for 43 years at 4.2%, down from 4.6% for a year earlier. This means we are seeing more people in work – 32.39 million which is 146,000 more than for November 2017 to January 2018 and 440,000 more than for a year earlier.

Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) head of policy, Sophie Wingfield comments on ONS figures:

We know that higher starting salaries are used to attract the right candidates in an ever tightening labour market, but this is still not translating in to broader wage rises across the country. For candidates moving jobs there is a strong chance of getting a pay rise”.

“Our own Report on Jobs data shows that demand for staff has increased this month, but we have seen a further fall in staff availability. Whilst it is encouraging to see a rise in employment figures, a lack of candidates remains a major challenge for recruiters – particularly in areas like nursing, engineering, manufacturing and IT. Staff shortages are becoming business critical in many of these key sectors”.

“With skills needs and candidate expectations continuing to evolve, employers need to do more to attract the right people. Government can help by ensuring the future UK workplace has the skills needed and put in place a balanced and evidence-based immigration system post-Brexit.”


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