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A recruiter’s perspective on the recent UK unemployment figures

According to the Office for National Statistics this week, the UK market is in a much stronger position than it has been for a long time – with UK employment levels having dropped to 7.1% in November

Scott Simons

According to the Office for National Statistics this week, the UK market is in a much stronger position than it has been for a long time – with UK employment levels having dropped to 7.1% in November.

This is obviously great news for those of us in the recruitment industry and demonstrates that companies are steadily growing more confident when it comes to investing in staff.

Some have voiced concerns that because the drop in unemployment has happened so quickly that it cannot be sustainable.

But I beg to differ.

Across Europe, for example, the financial markets are estimated to be recruiting for an estimated 15,000 new jobs over the next three months alone – with the UK making up 56% of that total. While the total number of UK jobs on offer may increase by as much as 500,000.

The fast drop in unemployment will now have a knock-on effect for interest rates, as the Bank of England previously stated that rates will stay at 0.5% until unemployment reaches 7%.

With the new rate change within touching distance, that 0.1% is all that stands between us and anarchy – or so some papers would have us believe.

However, even though we’ve arrived at this point two years early than the Bank of England predicted (original it had put unemployment to reach this level in 2016), interest rates won’t magically switch over when that last percentage is reached.

Yes the Bank needs to re-adjust their plans, but I’d say it’s encouraging to be in this position – surely it’s better to have the problem where too many people are in work, rather than too few, isn’t it?

Scott Simons is Director of Global Recruitment Services at Networkers International. Based in Covent Garden, London, Scott has over 14 years of experience in recruitment.