The Office for National Statistics (ONS) UK Labour Market bulletin for March 2016 reveals record breaking information…
The number of people in employment has risen by 116,000 to 31.42m in the last quarter, up almost half a million from one year earlier and the highest since comparable records began in 1971. With such a high employment rate, the race for employers and recruiters to attract and keep top quality candidates has begun. For top tips on how you can attract quality candidates to your company, please see our recent article here.
The ONS also revealed that wage growth, which was slowing in recent months, has shot up. Employees have received a 2.1% increase in their earnings (including bonuses) compared to one year ago. It is predicted that we may go on to see wages pick up further still in the coming months. “It seems that the soft patch for wages late last year was a blip and the recent run of better data is the new norm,” said Alan Clarke, an economist at Scotiabank. “Maybe it is an early feeding in of the national living wage.” With the unemployment rate at 5.1% – the lowest it has been in a decade – and the number of people claiming unemployment benefits falling to its lowest since 1975, it would be fair to say that employers and recruiters are becoming more provident during the hiring process, ensuring that candidates are completely suitable to job roles and taking on-board employees feedback. John Philpott, director of the Jobs Economist, said: “… These figures could indicate that employers are becoming more cautious over hiring decisions as they approach what will be a ‘quarter of uncertainty’ for the economy, including the introduction of [a higher minimum wage] at the start of April and the EU referendum toward the end of June.”
These findings indicate that we can expect to see the employment rate and wages growth continue to increase at a steady pace as we wait in anticipation to see how the new National Living Wage (coming into place 1 April 2016 ) will affect the industry.
Office for National Statistics