Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Productivity falls for fourth consecutive quarter: REC response

UK productivity fell by 0.5% between April and June 2019 compared with the same quarter last year, according to new figures released by the ONS today. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of negative growth for labour productivity.

The news comes as the REC’s Report on Jobs shows employers are scaling back their hiring plans amid continued Brexit uncertainty.

Tom Hadley, director of policy and campaigns of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said:

“As productivity falls for another quarter, government needs to ask itself serious questions about how to sustain rising pay and meet ambitions for a higher National Living Wage.

“Addressing skills shortages is part of the answer to this conundrum. As REC’s jobs data shows, businesses up and down the country, in sectors like IT, healthcare and logistics, are struggling to find the skills they need. In the shadow of Brexit uncertainty, businesses are also scaling back ambitions to hire new staff and invest in their operations. 

“But this isn’t just about skills, it is also about employers getting the best of their people through good management practices and by boosting progression opportunities. Government can help by reforming the apprenticeship levy to help those on temporary and flexible contracts. This must be paired with an evidence-based approach to future immigration policy, and a negotiated and orderly exit from the EU.”