CIPD comments on latest official labour market statistics

More older workers and women are entering the UK labour market

Jon Boys, Labour Market Economist for the CIPD responds to the official labour market statistics for the period February – April 2019, published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS):

“Encouragingly all the employment growth has come from full-time jobs suggesting that employers are shrugging off Brexit-related uncertainty, at least in relation to their hiring decisions. In tight labour market conditions workers are in a stronger position to demand the terms of their contracts with many pushing for full-time, permanent roles. 

“There was also strong jobs growth in some of the highest and most skilled sectors including professional and scientific occupations, as well as IT. In further positive news, there is evidence the labour market is becoming more inclusive with an increase in the number of women and older workers finding work. 

“Wage growth continues to outstrip inflation delivering more money to workers pockets. However, real pay – excluding bonuses - is still £5.70 a week lower than the pre-recession high. Some have benefited more than others. The data covers bonus season and construction bonuses increased by 17.1% delivering above average total pay at 4.4%, whilst those workers in retail and hospitality experienced total pay growth of just 1%. Interestingly the number of vacancies in hospitality remain higher than for all sectors indicating skills shortages, but employers are reluctant to raise wages to bridge the gap.” 

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