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Employment rate rises to 32.1 million

News | REC | ONS | Income

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The number of people in employment in the UK rose between March to May 2017 and June to August 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It was found that there were 32.1 million people in work, which was 94,000 more than for March to May 2017 and 317,000 more than for a year earlier. This meant the employment rate was 75.1 per cent, an increase from the 74.5 per cent seen a year earlier.

Minister for employment Damian Hinds said: “We’ve boosted the income for people on the lowest pay by increasing the National Living Wage and delivered the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in 20 years. That’s great progress and we’re determined to help more people flourish in the world of work.”

The unemployment rate was found to have fallen to 1.44 million, but vacancies rose, meaning the ratio of job seekers to jobs fell to 1.9. This is the equal lowest figure since records began in 2001.

With the numbers of people in employment rising, it is becoming increasingly difficult for employers to find the best candidates for their vacancies. It means that companies will have to ensure they are implementing strong recruitment strategies in order to attract candidates who are already employed elsewhere.

One way in which companies can set themselves apart from competitors is to ensure they are offering desirable salaries. According to the ONS’ Labour Force Survey, real wages are continuing to fall. Average weekly earnings fell by 0.4 per cent excluding bonuses, compared with a year before.

Recruitment and Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green said that, as a result of the “diminishing pool of available candidates, employers are willing to offer higher salaries or hourly pay rates when advertising for new hires, meaning the best way to secure an above inflation pay rise might well be to move jobs”.

He went on to say that businesses are only capable of growth if they have access to the people and skills they need. He called on the government to do “all it can to support employers” at a time when the supply of available workers is falling, “exacerbated by a declining rate of net migration”.


Posted by Jon Aspinell on 19th October 2017

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