Reaction to the latest labour market figures from the Office for National Statistics

Dan Langford, Group Marketing Director of Acorn takes a closer look at the labour market economic commentary released by the ONS on Wednesday 13 December.

While the headlines today will focus on unemployment being at its lowest level since 1975, to understand the reality of what’s going on across the UK’s labour market needs careful analysis.

We remain in uncertain times and the drop in real earnings is indicative of the caution of employers, who are unwilling, or unable, to increase wages while the uncertainty around Brexit negotiations labour on and whilst the UK economy continues to grapple with the relative strength of the pound. And we are of course still experiencing a number of areas of skills shortage, again which is at risk of being further exacerbated if Brexit negotiations don’t run smoothly.

That being said, I would imagine that the trend for falling unemployment will continue into next year, with final quarter statistics usually buoyed by the increase in seasonal employment around the festive period.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has also issued its annual report today which has said that the recruitment industry helped over 1 million people into new, permanent roles over the 12 months.

There has 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 we remain optimistic about the labour market for 2018.

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