The CIPD's quarterly Labour Market Outlook is one of the most authoritative employment indicators in the UK and provides forward-looking labour market data and analysis on employers’ recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions.

Labour Market Outlook: Summer 2021

Employment confidence continues to move upwards, as the net employment balance rises to +32 from +27 last quarter. Employment intentions are now at their highest since 2013 when this measure was first introduced to the Labour Market Outlook

This gain has been driven by a continued surge in recruitment intentions – 69% of employers plan to recruit in the three months to September 2021. Redundancies meanwhile have remained low, with just 13% of employers expecting to make job cuts. The overall picture on pay also looks positive, as median basic pay expectations hold at a pre-pandemic level of 2%. 

The immediate focus for employers will be on filling vacancies, particularly where they have been identified as hard to fill. Organisations should consider the factors that could raise the quality of work they offer to attract the best candidates – things such as clear career pathways, skill-building opportunities and the right balance of flexibility and security. 

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Summer 2020 labour demand

Employment confidence reaches record level

The net employment balance – which measures the difference between employers expecting to increase staff levels in the next three months and those expecting to decrease staff levels – has risen for the fourth consecutive quarter. At +32, it has reached its highest level since tracking began. 

Summer 2020 labour demand

Hiring intentions widen

The job market continues to open up as the proportion of employers planning to recruit in the three months to September 2021 rises again to 69%.  

Summer 2020 labour demand

Redundancies stable as furlough end in view

The percentage of employers looking to make redundancies has settled at around 13%. This forward-looking figure suggests that the end of furlough will be a relatively smooth transition with minimal job losses.  

Summer 2020 labour demand

COVID-hit sectors struggling to recruit

51% of employers in the hospitality, arts and entertainment industries report hard-to-fill vacancies compared with 39% for all employers. 

Summer 2020 labour demand

Pay holds steady at pre-pandemic level

After dropping to 1% growth for four consecutive quarters during the pandemic, median basic pay settlements have held at the 2% pre-pandemic level reached last quarter.  

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