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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.

Labour Market Outlook: Spring 2020

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Labour demand

LMO data suggests the job market will take a significant turn for the worse over the coming three months. The net employment balance – the difference between the proportion of employers expecting to increase or decrease staff levels – decreased 25 points from +21 to -4. 

Employment growth has decreased the most in hospitality, transport and business services. However, employment intentions remain strong in healthcare and public administration.

Pay expectations

The current state of the economy will have a significant impact on the earnings of UK employees. Median basic pay expectations for the next 12 months are for a 1% increase overall (down from 2%). In the private sector, this figure dropped to 0%. 

Over half (51%) of LMO private sector employers plan to freeze pay following their next pay review. Overall, 42% of employers are anticipating a pay freeze.  


The proportion of employers intending to make redundancies over the next few months has increased relatively modest from 16% to 21%. Redundancies appear to have – at least in the short term – been avoided as a result of the introduction of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme. 

The Job Retention Scheme has saved approximately 4.2 million jobs from redundancy to date. 

Employers are also using a variety of tactics to stave off redundancies. For example, increasing the ability of employees to work from home, adopting a wider range of flexible working arrangements as well as other measures such as freezing recruitment and pay. 

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