The REC-Markit monthly Jobs Outlook was recently published – here is a brief summary of where UK employment currently sits and the short-term predictions for unemployment figures.
Currently three in four employers feel that domestic economic conditions are improving and almost half believe that this improving backdrop will lead to increased investment decisions and hiring needs.
Specific key statistics include:
- 86% of hirer’s anticipate increasing their permanent headcount over the next 3 months
- 95% of employers consider their existing workforce to be operating at full capacity
- An astounding 98% of hirers plan to either maintain or increase the number of temporary workers that they engage, over the next 3 months
- Eight out of ten employers are using temporary workers to secure key short-term strategic skills
- 44% of employers say that they have transferred at least one temporary worker on to their permanent staff over the past year. Whilst this continues an increasing trend in recent months, the figure remains significantly below the historic 90% level that used to be the norm
Overall, whilst the UK workforce has reduced by 63,000 over the previous quarter, it currently stands 354,000 higher on a year-on-year basis. Within this figure is masked a decline of 95,000 workers classified as self-employed, which may reflect the government’s efforts to target an estimated 200,000 “falsely self-employed” workers within the construction industry, which was the subject of new legislation introduced in April 2014.
Total unemployment is now running at 5.6% (some 221,000 lower than the same period last year); within these numbers Youth Unemployment is slightly up at 16%. The REC and Markitt have now created a predictive model (“nowcast”) which to date has proved quite accurate, and currently signals unemployment to hold steady at around 5.6%. It will be interesting to compare this prediction against the official figures that will be published on 16th September.
From our own perspective at Kelburn, which we accept is more apocryphal than scientific, we continue to see the North East jobs market as faring less well than other regions of the UK. We believe the case for investment in the so called Northern Powerhouse is unquestionable and remain disappointed that this ongoing debate continues to gravitate towards the Manchester – Leeds axis rather than embracing all regions across northern England.