Employer optimism on pay and hiring set to continue in the first quarter of this year

The CIPD responds to the latest labour market statistics from the ONS.

Commenting on the latest ONS labour market statistics, Jon Boys, labour market economist for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, comments:

“Not only is employment at a record high but the increase in jobs is largely driven by full-time roles. This is good news for jobseekers.

“Today’s official data takes us up until the end of 2018. However, the CIPD’s more recent data suggests that employers expect that both employment and wage growth will stay strong throughout the first quarter of 2019. Nominal wage growth is being driven by the demand for skills. With low inflation expected to continue for most of the year we can expect a real terms pay rise for many in 2019.

“For now, most employers remain optimistic about their ability to take on new staff but with Brexit just a matter of weeks away it’s uncertain how the mood will change after March. To prepare for this, it’s vital that employers plan for a number of possible scenarios for their workforce. While there’s optimism around hiring, access to skills continues to be a challenge for employers. With fewer EU nationals working in the UK as the same time last year, it’s vital that the Government recognises the need for a flexible post Brexit migration system to avoid worsening skill and labour shortages.”

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