UK employment rate hits highest levels since records began

People at work

New figures which have been released from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that the UK’s employment rate is at its highest since records began in 1971. The UK Labour Market report shows that between September and November 2015, there were 31.39 million people in work, which is the equivalent to 74% of the population.

The data shows that during this three month period, 267,000 more people were employed compared to the previous three months and an impressive 588,000 more compared to just one year earlier.

Other figures published in the report also show a promising jobs market. It showed that economic inactivity, the number of people who have given up looking for work altogether and those on long-term sick leave or who are looking after a relative has fallen by 93,000 to just under nine million. This is the lowest this number has been since Spring 2014.

Additionally to this:

  • The number of women who are in work is up by more than one million since 2010 and is now at a record high of 14.66 million
  • The proportion of young people who have left full-time education and are out of work has fallen to a record low of 14.1%

Chief economist at the CIPD, Mark Beatson says that these figures show that jobs growth in the UK has finally recovered after the recession.

“Demand for labour is still high, as seen by record numbers of unfilled vacancies and it’s positive to see the supply is there to fill these jobs. Some of that supply is coming from other parts of the EU but the UK unemployment rate continues to fall nevertheless.”

One trend that has been noted amongst these figures is that although more young people are getting into work, unfortunately, unemployment has not fallen amongst the over-50s. Part of this is simply down to the fact that the number of over-50s is increasing but it’s also a reminder that older workers can find it particularly difficult to find another job if they become unemployed.

Beatson advises:

“As the working population ages, it’s important that employers change their approach to workforce planning and open up their recruitment systems to much more diverse talent pools. Groups such as the over-50s can often bring as many unique skills and experiences as those under-25.”

If you would like help with your recruitment process in 2016, please feel free to contact Choralis Consulting and we will be more than happy to help.

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