UK employment rate may be at a high but we need to be mindful of industry gaps
“Halfway through the year, employment rate is hitting a new record high. At 75.6%, we’re seeing an increase compared to this time last year (74.8%) and the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971.
“The Labour Force survey showed that between November 2017 to April 2018, the number of people in work continued to increase, while the number of unemployed people decreased.
“We now count 32.39 million people in employment with 1.42 million unemployed, and the number of people aged from 16 to 64 years not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) has also continued to decrease. There are some positive signs at long last of wage inflation as both job availability and competition for skills increases.
“This new record is indicative of a strong job market and deserves to be celebrated. But whilst Brexit negotiations remain uncertain and whilst the UK economy continues to grapple with the relative strength of the pound, it’s important to keep a critical eye.
“Among challenges to be tackled are the specialist skills gaps facing several UK industries – including aerospace, energy, construction and IT. These are at risk of being further exacerbated if Brexit negotiations don’t run smoothly.
“As a leading recruitment agency, Acorn is working closely with these industries, academia and other training providers across the country to ensure people get the opportunities they deserve, and businesses the skills they require.
“There has also been much discussion about the nature and quality of the work that people are doing, however, it has been our experience at Acorn that there are a number of good job opportunities available, both temporary and permanent.
“And with third quarter statistics usually buoyed by the increase in seasonal employment around the summer, we remain very optimistic about the labour market for the second half of the year.”
By Lewis Fawsitt, Corporate Sales Director at Acorn.