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

LMO Winter 2019-20

Employment confidence in the public sector has hit a 12-year high this quarter. Predicted growth is broad-based, with employers across the sector – including in public administration, healthcare and education – set to increase staffing levels.  

As a result, growth in the public sector looks set to increase in line with the private sector for the first time in over a decade.  

While overall employment growth remains strong, the tightness of the labour market is continuing to cause recruitment difficulties among employers. A large proportion of hiring organisations reported hard-to-fill vacancies.   

Read the full report and download the data tables below:


Labour demand

Overall demand for labour among employers has decreased slightly, but remains strong. The net employment balance – the difference between the proportion of employers expecting to increase or decrease staff levels – decreased from +22 to +21.  

The score was highest in healthcare (+28), construction (+27) and the voluntary sector (+23).

Recruitment difficulties

Of employers who currently have vacancies within their organization, around two-thirds (64%) report that at least some of these vacancies are proving hard to fill.  

This has decreased slightly from 67% in Autumn 2019. 

Roles employers unable to fill

The type of permanent roles employers have been most unable to fill during the past 12-months are in professional occupations (53%), associate professional and technical occupations (16%), and managers directors and senior officials (11%).   

A smaller number of employers say they have been unable to fill lower-skilled roles such as elementary positions (2%), administrative and secretarial occupations (2%) and process, plant and machine operatives (3%).

Inhibitors to wage growth

The key factors reported by employers which are inhibiting higher wage growth include affordability (30%), public sector pay restraint (26%), and absorbing labour costs (21%) such as the National Living Wage.  

Pay expectations

The planned median basic pay increase for the 12 months to December 2020 remain at 2%. This is consistent with findings from previous reports.

Basic pay growth expectations are higher in the private sector (2%), compared to in the public sector (1.5%).

Labour Market Outlook archive

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