The newest Labour Pressure Survey (LFS) figures launched by the Workplace of Nationwide Statistics (ONS) had been marked by labour market pessimism, suggesting a poor state of hiring within the UK.
Between October to December 2023, the estimated variety of vacancies fell by 49,000, all the way down to a complete 934,000. This represents a 5% lower since July to September of 2023, with vacancies falling in 12 of the 18 business sectors examined.
Nevertheless, all hope is just not misplaced for job-seekers. In distinction to the doom and gloom, an unique survey performed by Startups.co.uk has discovered that 80% of companies goal to broaden their workforce within the coming 12 months. For anybody in search of a brand new function in 2024, this might show welcome information amid much less constructive headlines.
Causes for job seeker optimism
Based on the Startups.co.uk survey, the quieter interval of hiring that the ONS information has captured on the finish of 2023 might give option to a extra constructive state of affairs within the 12 months to return.
Our survey, which coated 546 UK companies aged between 0-10 years, revealed that 33% of those companies plan to rent as much as 5 new workers.
Furthermore, 76% of micro-sized companies (1-10 workers) intend to extend their workforce by 50% within the coming 12 months. Equally, 63% of companies with 101-500 workers plan to double their workforce within the 12 months forward.
Trying on the greater image
The ONS information paints a narrative of a stalling labour market as final 12 months closed out. Vacancies continued to fall for the 18th consecutive quarter. This is able to imply the longest consecutive run of quarterly falls ever recorded. That mentioned, there are nonetheless extra UK job vacancies in the latest quarter captured within the ONS survey than within the pre-pandemic interval.
Consultants declare the slowdown is owed to a normal financial belt tightening and difficult enterprise panorama, defined by rising inflation, the Ukraine conflict, and the cost-of-living disaster.
The business sectors displaying the most important quarterly decreases within the variety of vacancies had been wholesale and retail commerce, which fell by 13,000 and 9,000 vacancies respectively.
“Whereas the newest information is displaying a decline in vacancies, there are a selection of things which must be thought of when analysing the state of the UK’s labour market,” warns Tania Bowers, World Public Coverage Director on the Affiliation of Skilled Staffing Firms (APSCo).
“At first, the variety of jobs famous by the top of final 12 months continues to be larger than the degrees recorded between 2005 and 2020, that means that issues stay comparatively steady for now.”
ONS problem of information seize
ONS information additionally must be approached fastidiously, as lowered survey participation charges have impaired how precisely outcomes mirror the state of the labour market. The participation disaster hit a peak in October, when the ONS needed to droop its month-to-month publication of the LFS.
“There are nonetheless prevailing questions across the statistics which implies this info shouldn’t be used as a standalone indicator of the roles market,” notes Bowers.
As a result of lowered participation, the ONS prompt various estimates of this month’s LFS, which indicated that the employment charge for these aged 16 to 64 really elevated marginally.
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