The quarterly Labour Market Outlook, produced in partnership with Adecco, 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.

The Adecco Group is the world’s leading HR solutions company. We believe in making the future work for everyone, and every day enable more than 3.5 million careers. 

We skill, develop, and hire talent in 60 countries, enabling organisations to embrace the future of work. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that fuels economies and builds better societies.

Our culture of inclusivity, entrepreneurship and teamwork empowers our 35,000 employees. We are proud to have been consistently ranked one of the 'World's Best Workplaces' by Great Place to Work®.

The Adecco Group AG is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN). The Group is powered by three global business units: Adecco, Talent Solutions and Modis.

The Adecco Group UK and Ireland head office is located in London, UK. Adecco Workforce Solutions includes Badenoch + Clark Public Sector, Adecco Retail, Adecco Specialist Markets, Adecco Solutions and Office Angels. Talent Solutions includes Badenoch + Clark Professional, General Assembly, Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) and Penna + Stafford Long. Modis includes Modis (Technology Solutions).

Labour Market Outlook: Spring 2021

Employment confidence has continued its upward surge this quarter, as the net employment score rises to +27 from +11 in our winter survey. Employment intentions are now at their highest since 2013 when this measure was first introduced to the Labour Market Outlook.

This gain is the result of another increase in recruitment intentions – the highest in over a year – and a continuing fall in redundancy intentions. Just over a tenth (12%) of employers expect to make job cuts in the next three months, down from 20% last quarter and dipping below pre-pandemic levels. The overall picture on pay is also positive, with median basic pay expectations bouncing back to 2%, having stayed at 1% through the last four quarters.

While improved employment and pay prospects are good news, a solid jobs recovery must be focused not just on more jobs, but better jobs. To offset the emerging threat of recruitment difficulties, employers should be reviewing the quality of work they offer alongside their recruitment practices. Factors such as employment conditions, the possibility of promotion, training opportunities and the right balance of flexibility and security will all be important considerations.

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Summer 2020 labour demand

Sharp upsurge in net employment score

The net employment intentions figure for Q2 has risen sharply to +27, from +11 in the last quarter. This is due to both a halving of redundancy intentions – down from 20% to 12% – and a rise in recruitment intentions. The improvement has again been driven by the private sector, which saw an 18 percentage point increase since the winter 20/21 report.

Summer 2020 labour demand

Employment confidence grows across sectors

Healthcare (+54) and ICT (+37) have continued to increase in employment confidence, retaining the top spots among the sectors. But the biggest climbers this quarter are administration and support services, which jumped from +2 last quarter to +33, and hospitality from -6 to +29.

Summer 2020 labour demand

Redundancy intentions drop below pre-pandemic levels

Redundancy intentions have continued to fall over the quarter. Just over a tenth (12%) of organisations expect to make job cuts in the next three months, down from 20% the previous quarter. The fall takes redundancy intentions to below pre-pandemic levels (16%) for the first time.

Summer 2020 labour demand

Median basic pay expectations bounce back

Median basic pay expectations have returned to pre-pandemic levels at 2%, having stayed at 1% over the past four quarters.

Summer 2020 labour demand

Pay outlook improves but brightest for private sector

While the pay outlook in both the private and public sectors has improved, the picture is looking brighter for private sector workers. The median basic pay award in the 12 months to March 2022 will be 2% compared to 0.9% in the public sector.

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