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The quarterly Labour Market Outlook, produced in partnership with the Adecco Group UK & Ireland 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 UK&I and its brands are part of the Adecco Group, the world’s leading HR solutions partner. As a Group, we provide more than 700,000 people with permanent and flexible employment every day. With more than 34,000 employees in 60 countries – 3,100 in the UK&I – we transform the world of work one job at a time. Our colleagues serve more than 100,000 organisations with the talent, HR services and cutting-edge technology they need to succeed in an ever-changing global economy. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that meets social needs while driving business innovation. Our culture of inclusivity, fairness and teamwork empowers individuals and organisations, fuels economies, and builds better societies. These values resonate with our employees, who voted us number 5 on the Great Place to Work® - World’s Best Workplaces 2018 list. We make the future work for everyone. 

The Adecco Group is based in Zurich, Switzerland. Adecco Group AG is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN). The Group is powered by nine lead brands: Adecco, Modis, Badenoch & Clark, Spring Professional, Lee Hecht Harrison, Pontoon, Adia, General Assembly and YOSS.  

The Adecco Group UK&I’s head office is located in London, UK. We have 11 brands, including the Adecco Group UK&I, Adecco, Adia, Ajilon, Badenoch & Clark, Modis, Office Angels, Penna, Pontoon, Roevin and Spring.

Labour Market Outlook: Autumn 2020

While there is still uncertainty in the jobs market, the figures this quarter show signs that the rate of decline is levelling off. There has been a clear improvement in net employment intentions, which have risen seven percentage points since summer this year.

Nonetheless, intentions to make redundancies remain elevated – with 30% of employers planning to make redundancies in the three months to December 2020. However, it is encouraging to note that employers are using a wide range of tactics to stave off redundancies where possible. These include temporary lay-offs or furloughing staff (41%), redeployment (37%), recruitment freezes (32%), freezing or delaying wage increases (29%), cutting bonuses (29%) and terminating temporary worker or agency worker contracts (27%).

With the furlough scheme now being extended from November, employers will have further Government support to help save jobs and potentially protect employees from redundancy.

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Labour demand

The net employment intentions figure for Q4 2020 has risen to –1 from –8 since the last quarter. This is due to both a modest fall in redundancy intentions and a slight uptick in recruitment intentions.

53% of employers are planning to recruit this quarter, up four percentage points from the summer but still lower than the 69% seen in the same quarter last year.

Redundancies easing

Redundancy intentions have decreased slightly over the quarter. 30% of organisations expect to make some redundancies in the next three months, slightly down from 33% in the summer. However, this is still well above the historical average for the LMO redundancy measure.

Key tactics used by employers to stave off or minimise redundancies to date include temporary lay-offs/furloughing staff (41%), redeployment (37%), recruitment freezes (32%), freezing or delaying wage increases (29%), cutting bonuses (29%) and terminating temporary worker or agency worker contracts (27%).

Pay expectations

Median basic pay increase expectations for the next 12 months are 1%, unchanged from the summer quarter. Pay expectations in the private sector are 0%, compared with 0.8% three months earlier. By comparison, pay expectations are higher in both the public sector (2%) and voluntary sector (1.7%).

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