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The UK Labour Market - what is happening and what does it mean for us?

Labour Market, Data, Figures...

The UK labour market has been a bit up and down in the last couple of years, but it is encouraging to see it improving in recent months.

As a recruitment company, we know all too well about the trends and figures with regards to people looking for jobs, the number of jobs on offer and so on. But we are delighted with the way things seem to be going now, especially relating to opportunities within the FM industry.

In terms of employment, the Quarterly Labour Market Outlook released by the CIPD explains current trends and is one of the most authoritative employment indicators for the UK. It also provides an insight into what the near future may look like in terms of recruitment, redundancy and wages.

Let’s take a look, shall we? Their most recent report is from autumn 2021 but does provide forward-looking data on what to expect in the coming year.

In the last year, employment confidence began to soar, when the net employment balance rose to +38 from +32 in the previous report. The net employment balance measures the difference between employers expecting to increase staff and those expecting to do the opposite. At the time that this data was released, it had exceeded the last quarter’s findings and was the highest it had been since recording began. This is great news, especially now we’re seeing an increase in people applying for jobs after a tough couple of years.

Another finding was that facing challenges in recruitment, more and more employers found ways in which to combat these problems. This was through wage increases (47 percent), teaching employees additional skills (44 percent), making the decision to hire more apprentices (27 percent) and improving job quality (20 percent). These changes have had a profound effect on recruitment, and it just go to show that small changes can make a huge positive impact!

One huge difference found in the autumn 2021 research is that post-furlough redundancies are currently well below that of pre-pandemic. It was thought that once the furlough scheme had ended, a large percentage of employers would have no choice but to make their workers redundant, as they could not afford to keep employing them. This expectation has been proved wrong, as the percentage of employers looking to make redundancies has fallen from 16 percent to 10 percent. This shows that, although the furlough scheme has ended, many more employers are in a better financial position to keep employees on, hence the drop in redundancies in recent months.

This all shows that, given the last couple of years, the Labour Market seems to be improving slowly but surely. This is fantastic news for employers, employees and the recruitment sector alike, and we hope it can only get better in the future!