Today’s labour market figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the UK unemployment rate holding at 3.8% for February to April 2019, the lowest since October to December 1974.

The employment rate also remained steady at 76.1%, the joint-highest figure since comparable estimates began in 1971. The economic inactivity rate was 20.8%, lower than for a year earlier (21.0%) and close to the record low.

The estimated number of vacancies in the jobs market was 837,000, 11,000 more than a year earlier but 12,000 lower than for December 2018 to February 2019.

Tom Hadley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said:

“This morning’s figures show a familiar picture, with the UK labour market stuck in the same holding pattern that we have seen for the past few months. The overall picture remains positive, but with a few warning signs, such as declining vacancies.

“Our jobs market continues to demonstrate how robust it is, and continues to provide good work for more people than ever before with employment at a joint-record high and economic inactivity close to a record low.

“However, the fact that vacancy numbers are dropping is reflected in the REC’s Report on Jobs data, which shows a slight decline in permanent placements. At the same time, employers and recruiters are still struggling to find the staff to fill empty roles in sectors as diverse as healthcare, technology and logistics. Businesses are increasingly having to review current hiring procedures, as making the right hire at the right time can be crucial to maximising growth and productivity.”

 

As you have likely seen, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed that the UK has hit another record high for the number of people in employment, reaching 32.75 million.

Ben Frost (Solution Architect EMEA at recruitment specialists Korn Ferry) offered his thoughts on how employers can compete for talent in this competitive jobs market:

“Today’s employment stats have once again confirmed strong employment growth up and down the country, which is great news for companies and employees. The challenge, however, remains in competing for the right staff with the right skills.

“Not all businesses are in the financial position to offer monetary rewards to attract and retain top talent. However, for the most part employees’ expectations have begun to shift and so money is no longer necessarily the most effective way of rewarding staff or appealing to new talent.

“Companies need to look at benefits beyond financial incentives in order to attract the best talent. From flexible working schemes for a better work-life balance, to robust career development programmes and creative working environments, employers need to communicate the benefits associated with their brand.

“With this change in focus, organisations are able to attract and retain the best talent and so combat the current skills shortage that is affecting many industries”

Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), said:

"No news is good news in today’s jobs figures  – with the employment, unemployment and economic inactivity rates all the same as in May, and earnings growth virtually identical.  And given that today’s figures cover the period February to April, when the government was falling apart over Brexit and indicative votes, Ministers will for once be delighted that nothing has changed.  In fact, employment has ticked up ever so slightly in the last few months, to its highest ever level (32.75 million).

"Beneath this headline picture, there’s one big story today and quite a few smaller ones.

"The big story is in employment of older people.  Today’s figures set a new record for the number of people aged over 50 in work, rising above 10.5 million for the first time ever.  This is up by over 300 thousand in the last year – accounting for nearly all of the growth in employment overall. This employment growth has been driven in particular by more women in work (which has also set an overall record today).  More than one in four older people are now in work, and older people now account for one third of the workforce – up from a quarter a decade ago. 

"We should celebrate these changes, and the opportunities that an older workforce brings.  However we should also recognise some of the challenges – with our research finding that older people often value different things about work, and that employer support is often too narrowly focused.  It’s also important to remember that many more older people want to work and still struggle to find it, with more than one in five of the unemployed aged over 50 – a figure that hasn’t changed in the last year.

"Today’s figures are also noteworthy in seeing the continuation of some trends flagged up in previous months’ analysis. 

"Headline earnings levels continue to stagnate, in both actual and ‘real’ terms (taking account of inflation).  So while the year-on-year growth remains healthy, unless earnings start rising again soon we can expect to see the annual figures begin to fall back sharply from the autumn.  To put it another way, people may feel better off than a year ago, but they probably don’t feel much better off than they did at Christmas.  For whoever takes over as Prime Minister, addressing this will surely be near the top of their priorities.

"Temporary employment has also continued to fall – now reaching its joint lowest ever share of total employment (at just 5.4% of all those in work).  While this is welcome news for workers, it may also in part reflect increasing classification of ‘non-traditional’ work as permanent rather than temporary employment, following changes to tax rules (IR35).  In particular, the number of part time workers who cannot find a full-time job remains more than 200 thousand higher than before the recession (at 933 thousand).

"Finally, even with the labour market continuing to tighten, the number of long-term unemployed remains at 350 thousand – well above its levels before the recession, and now accounting for 27% of all unemployed.  With a further 1.8 million economically inactive people who want a job, it is clear that we can still do more to support people to prepare for and find work."

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

EKC Group shared a video in channel. 19 minutes ago

#LevelUp with EKC Group

#LevelUp with a course from one of EKC Group's Colleges and kickstart your future! EKC Group's Colleges offer a wide range of courses,...

EKC Group had a status update on Twitter 1 hour 16 minutes ago

We are delighted to announce that we have joined @collabgrp, a national membership body of #FurtherEducation colleg… https://t.co/YP6QVYermP
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page