Despite concerns about the economy’s sluggish growth, the number of people out of work in the UK has been falling steadily for almost a year. In fact, the job market has received a much welcomed boost as figures reveal that the total number of unemployed people in the UK has fallen to 2.49 million – the lowest it has been for 18 months.
Additionally to this, the findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also show that the number of people currently in employment has reached a record high. As these figures have increased to 29.7 million, Employment Minister, Mark Hoban has said;
“These are very positive figures showing employment rising for 15 months and despite difficult economic circumstances, unemployment is lower than when this government took office”.
Whilst unemployment amongst the 25-64 year age group has decreased, there is concern as unemployment amongst those aged 18-24 has increased. Mark Beatson, Chief Economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has expressed that the youth employment figures pose a serious cause for concern. He has also asserted that if this trend continues then it could have a permanent scar on the labour market so it is in employers’ interest to build their future skills base by recruiting the next generation of workers.
It is thought that one of the contributing factors towards falling unemployed rates is down to the fact that wages are still increasing at a lower rate than consumer prices inflation. Whilst nearly 30% of employees revealed that they have seen their workload increase in the last year, a third of them also had their wages cut or frozen. However, Acas noted that whilst frustrating for many, this has helped to avoid job losses as only 14% of workplaces have seen compulsory redundancies in this time.
As a company specialising in finance recruitment, here at Choralis we too have noticed that there has been a definite increase in the number of our clients who have started to recruit once again. In particular, over the last twelve months we have experienced a particular increase in private equity backed companies looking for interim, contract and permanent employees. With a positive start to 2013 already, we sincerely hope that the rest of the year continues like this for both job seekers and employers.