- The latest labour market data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) painted a mixed picture.
- Both the employment and unemployment rates increased, while job vacancies and economic inactivity fell.
- The Growth Company (GC) offers a range of services to help individuals into sustained employment; as well as to make sure employers can find the right candidates in a competitive market.
Last week, the ONS published its latest quarterly overview of the UK labour market. The report included estimates of employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, wage growth, and other employment-related statistics.
In general, the data pointed to a tightening of the market, though not as much as many economists had expected given persistently high levels of inflation.
Quarterly Employment Data
The national employment rate stood at 76 percent between March and May 2023 – a 0.2 percent increase on the previous three-month period. According to the ONS, this modest jump was primarily due to a rise in part-time employment, in particular among men.
The unemployment rate also rose by 0.2 percent to 4 percent. The ONS said this was mainly driven by those who had been unemployed for up to 12 months. Once again, men were over-represented in the data.
The economic inactivity rate, meanwhile, fell by 0.4 percent to 20.8 percent. The decrease was largely down to three groups: people who had been inactive for ‘other reasons’, were looking after family, or recently retired.
Quarterly Job Vacancies
From April to June 2023, the number of job vacancies stood at 1,034,000 – a reduction of 85,000, or 8 percent, on January to March, and the 12th consecutive decline.
Quarterly Wage Growth
During March to May, average total pay growth, which includes bonuses, was 6.9 percent. Average total regular pay growth, which excludes bonuses, was 7.3 percent.
However, it should be noted that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation remained relatively high in the 12 months to May – at 7.8 percent – meaning that, in reality, average real wages continued to fall.
A Challenging Labour Market
Reflecting on the latest ONS figures, the Growth Company’s (GC) managing director for employment, Michelle Leeson, said:
“It was only a matter of time before the challenges facing the wider economy had a direct and noticeable impact on the labour market. Even so, there are countless opportunities from which individuals and employers can benefit if they have access to the right information and support – which we can provide.
"GC Employment helps people from all walks of life and companies in a range of sectors find the jobs or candidates that suit their needs and maximise their potential."
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We offer employment services across Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Yorkshire and Humber.
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