Published byREC

REC response to ONS labour market figures, May 2024

The ONS has published its latest labour market statistics this morning. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Chief Executive Neil Carberry, said:

“The labour market tends to lag the economy, so today’s sluggish data reflects the recession we had over the winter. Business surveys, including our own Report on Jobs, suggest a turn in activity is coming across the summer following the recent return to growth.

“That said, the UK jobs market has remained remarkably robust in terms of low unemployment and high employment despite the recession. On the surface, this is good news. But as we return to growth it could be a problem. Unless we can better tackle inactivity, including long-term health issues, and find ways to be more productive with technology and skills, the UK will not grow as it could. Given that higher growth is the secret sauce for lower taxed and better funded-public services, every party should have the workforce at the heart of its thinking. And every company needs to be thinking about how they hire and deploy staff in partnership with professional recruiters. Bargain basement approaches will not work.

“Workers are still looking to increase pay in the face of recent inflation – but changing jobs is the most effective way to do that now as pay awards are significantly lower than last year.”