What’s going on in the UK jobs market ahead of Christmas?

We understand that you may be feeling slightly nervous at the moment about what’s in store for the UK economy and how it may affect your chances of finding a job in time for Christmas. According to the latest set of figures from the Office For National Statistics, UK industries are experiencing a mixed bag of short-term and long-term effects, with positive spending and employment rates, but a few alarm bells to address on the horizon.


Latest findings in the recruitment industry

Despite setbacks and scepticism, the UK employment rate has remained at a record level - although that has been offset by a slight rise in unemployment.

Published figures this October revealed an employment rate of 74.5%. This is the proportion of the UK population between the ages of 16 to 64, who are in work. This rate is the joint highest since records began in 1971. If we segment this total into types of work, there are 23.3 million people in full-time work, 360,000 more than 10 years ago; and 8.58 million people working part-time, 198,000 than last year.

The unemployment rate rose to 1.66 million, but this is still 5.4% lower than a year ago. Depending on who you speak to, recruitment has cooled in the past month, or it has remained stable. The UK businesses community has, on the whole, shown its resilience. Early Brexit shocks came as an expected inevitability, and the current jobs market is performing well.  

Leading UK jobs platforms, including our own, have reported increases in the number of jobs posted on their site this September. The labour market is still riding high after a buoyant summer jobs market which seemed to brush off Brexit, and consumers spending during this time reflected this enduring positivity.

Biggest threat facing UK workers

While it is too early to predict changes for UK workers, the majority of recruiters are concerned about the potential impact of extremely low or even negative real wage growth over the coming years. This will coincide with an inflation rate rise, which the Bank of England now expects to hit 2.7%, a sharp increase from its current 1% rate, therefore spending power will also be hit. Wage stagnation in the UK has been an issue since 2008, particularly in the public sector, with staff levels now at its lowest since records began.

A number of high-profile job losses have been announced ahead of Brexit negotiations next year. The news that Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, will serve his full term has provided some stability in the financial sector, however, unless the banking passport system is retained, financial assets could begin to move out of the UK next year which will affect the job markets and the economy.

Recruiters are aware of the red flags that must now be navigated and understand that it’s now more important than ever for job seekers to receive the guidance and advice they need to find employment.

With more than 100 collective years of recruitment and careers experience, we proudly support local communities with the best possible access to jobs, skills, training and careers information they need to be successful. Create your job seekers account with us today to promote your skills to industry employers.


Back to News & Advice