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REC responds to labour market statistics

Commenting on today’s publication of labour market statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which shows that the employment rate reached 74.9 per cent in the three months to May, the highest level since records began in 1971, Recruitment & Employment Confederation director of policy Tom Hadley says:

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“The jobs market has continued on a positive trend, with the employment rate reaching another record high. This is driven by strong demand for staff as businesses look to expand.

“With the unemployment rate at its lowest since 1975, there is no relief for employers struggling to fill vacancies. We rely on people from abroad and need an immigration system based on this reality. At the same time, employers are reaching out to encourage applicants from underrepresented groups and are reviewing hiring practices. The Matthew Taylor report, published yesterday, encourages businesses to drive good employment practices, which is increasingly important as a way of attracting and retaining staff.

“Whilst it’s encouraging to see that wage growth excluding bonuses has increased on last month’s data, pay still isn’t keeping up with inflation. Real wages have been in decline for three months in a row. In contrast, our data shows that employers are increasing starting salaries in a bid to attract candidates, so it makes sense for anyone wanting a pay rise to move jobs. Right now people with the right skills can take their pick of jobs as the number of vacancies keeps growing.”