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413,000 more people in work compared to this time last year, reports ONS

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there are nearly three-quarters of a million vacancies in the economy at any one time and almost 90 per cent of the rise in employment over the last year is from full-time work.

It added that real pay (excluding bonuses) has risen by 2.9 per cent on average – the fastest annual rise since 2002 – meaning hardworking people have more money in their pockets.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said, “As part of our one nation government, we want everyone to succeed and achieve their full potential, and through our reforms we are doing just that.

“With a record number of people working in the private sector and wages rising, it is clear that the remarkable jobs success that we have seen under this government is continuing.”

With wages continuing to rise and over 450,000 more people in private sector jobs than this time last year, this one nation government is delivering on the commitment to ensure the economic recovery is felt by all sections of society.

Unemployment has fallen by almost 200,000 in the last year, as the number of people looking for work for longer than a year has fallen to its lowest level in six years.

Youth unemployment has continued to fall, and is down by 215,000 since 2010, while the number of economically inactive people fell by 65,000 in the last year, as more people look for work or are in work.

Other employment statistics show:

• There are a near record 31.1m people working in the UK, with 80 per cent working in the private sector

• There are over 2 million more people in work since 2010

• Over 450,000 more people are in jobs in the private sector over the last year alone

• Unemployment has also fallen by 198,000 in the last year

• Long-term unemployment has fallen by more than 240,000 since 2010, to its lowest level in six years

• There are 740,000 vacancies – an increase of nearly 60,000 since last year

• The claimant count has fallen by over 180,000 over the last year

Commenting, Mark Beatson, chief economist at the CIPD, said, “While today’s numbers show a drop in unemployment back towards the low point seen three months ago, the main point to draw from this set of figures is how little the overall levels of employment and unemployment have changed in the last six months.  After a long period of sustained employment growth and falling unemployment, we seem to have entered a more stable phase.  The numbers of self-employed and those in temporary jobs appear to have peaked.

“As the economy was still growing strongly in the second quarter of 2015, stable employment levels suggest that productivity has been growing. If this is the case, it helps to make average earnings growth sustainable. The latest figures have been boosted by earnings in construction and by bonuses, especially in financial services, both consistent with a growing economy. With interest rates expected to remain very low, employers should continue to invest in technology, systems and workforce skills if they wish to avoid the prospect of increased skill shortages.”  

Phil Sheridan, UK managing director of Robert Half, said, “It is not surprising that earnings have returned to their fastest rate of growth since 2009, as competition for talent has swung the pendulum away from the employer and there is a definitive shortage of skilled candidates for middle and top tier positions. Our research shows in the last year 83% of CFOs admit to offering salaries above what they originally planned to secure talented job candidates, while 33% of those have had to do so frequently.  There is simply not enough highly specialised talent to go round, as 92% of CFOs admit they are challenged in finding skilled professionals.  If this trend continues we expect earnings growth to push even higher in the latter half of the year.”

Ann Swain, chief executive at APSCo, commented, “As I suspected, recent month-on-month dips in employment levels seem to have been nothing more than seasonal blips. According to official figures, job creation is now once again on the up, with a significant year-on-year increase in the number of people in work and a majority of these being full-time roles.

“The latest figures are representative of what the recruitment profession has witnessed over the past year. Greater confidence in hiring is reflected in the results of our latest UK Recruitment Index, published in conjunction with Deloitte, which found that the vast majority (83%) of recruitment firms reported growth in net fee income or gross profit over the past 12 months.

“It is unsurprising that average wages grew at their fastest pace in more than six years. As the war for talent continues to rage, attractive remuneration packages are a powerful tool to aid attraction and promote retention. Furthermore, with inflation currently at 0%, this growth is more significant than it may seem at first glance.”  


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