The most recent labour market statistics published by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that both the number of unemployed people and the number of vacancies have increased while real wage growth is still falling.
Figures from October-December 2017, show that there were 1.47 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 46,000 more than for July to September 2017 but 123,000 fewer than for a year earlier. For November 2017 to January 2018 there were 823,000 job vacancies, the highest since records began in 2001.
Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) director of policy Tom Hadley commenting on the statistics said: “As inflation is still outstripping pay growth the increase in volume of jobseekers could be a result of households struggling financially and more people are going out to look for work.
“The feedback from recruiters is that one of the overriding challenges remains finding the right candidates for the available vacancies. The fact that more people are now seeking work could help this situation. However, the biggest issue is the skills mismatch the country is facing and the new jobseekers might not necessarily have what employers are looking for.
“Our own data shows that businesses are offering higher starting salaries for new hires which demonstrates what they are prepared to do to find the talent they need. Another specific way to address skills shortages is for government to broaden the Apprenticeship Levy so the whole workforce including agency workers can benefit from training.”
The full ONS statistical release is available here.
You can see the REC press release in full here.