UK – The number of temporary employees increased by 4.9% in the April quarter, the employment rate climbs as vacancies reach a record high

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June 14, 2022

The number of temporary workers in the UK rose 4.9% year-on-year to nearly 1.67 million in the three months from February to April, according to seasonally adjusted data released today. today by the UK Office for National Statistics.

Compared to the previous three-month period, the number of temporary employees decreased by 1.04%.

Temporary workers made up 5.92% of all employees in the February-April period, up from 5.75% a year ago.

Temporary workers self-identify when interviewed by the ONS, and they include those on fixed-term contracts, agency workers, casual workers, seasonal workers and other temporary workers.

Of the 1.67 million temporary employees in the period ending April 2022, approximately 401,270 were temporary because they could not find permanent employment; 473,087 did not want a permanent job; 172,028 had a contract with a training period; and 633,080 cited other reasons.

Of the 1.67 million temporary employees during the period, approximately 727,387 were men and 952,079 were women.

The employment rate in the UK increased by 0.2% over the quarter to 75.6%, but remains below levels before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of full-time employees increased during the quarter to a record high, but this was partially offset by a decrease in the number of part-time employees. The number of self-employed fell during the coronavirus pandemic and remained low, although it increased during the quarter.

For the three months ending April 2022, the highest employment rate estimate in the UK was in the South West (79.3%) and the lowest in Northern Ireland (70.2 %).

The biggest changes in the employment rate compared to the same period last year occurred in the West Midlands and the South West, both with an increase of 2.7%, while the only decline was was recorded in the Northeast, down 0.3%.

The unemployment rate from February to April 2022 fell by 0.2% over the quarter to stand at 3.8%.

All regions of the UK saw a fall in the unemployment rate compared to the same period last year, with the East Midlands registering the largest fall of 2.2%, while the smallest fall was recorded in East of England, down 0.3%.

The economic inactivity rate decreased by 0.1% to 21.3% from February to April 2022. The decline in economic inactivity compared to the previous three-month period was largely due to people economically inactive because they were students.

For the three months ending April 2022, the UK’s highest estimated economic inactivity rate was in Northern Ireland (27.8%) and lowest in the South West (18. 3%).

The number of job vacancies from March to May 2022 reached a new high of 1,300,000. However, the growth rate of job vacancies continued to slow.

Meanwhile, growth in average total employee compensation (including bonuses) was 6.8% and growth in regular compensation (excluding bonuses) was 4.2% from February to April 2022.

In real terms (adjusted for inflation), growth in total compensation was 0.4%, but regular compensation decreased by 2.2% over the year; large bonus payouts have kept recent growth in real total compensation positive.

The most current estimate of salaried employees for May 2022 shows a monthly increase, up 90,000 from the revised April 2022, to a record high of 29.6 million.

Total weekly hours actually worked increased by 12.2 million hours to 1.04 billion hours from February to April 2022, compared to the previous quarter. However, that remains 7.6 million below pre-pandemic levels.

The layoff rate has fallen to a record low over the past three months. The layoff rate is the ratio of the level of layoffs to the number of employees in the previous quarter, multiplied by 1,000.

From February to April 2022, reports of layoffs in the three months prior to the interview decreased by 0.5 per thousand employees, compared to the previous three-month period, to a record high of 2.0 per thousand employees.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Confederation of Recruitment and Employment, said: “These latest figures show how good it is to look for work. We have another record number of vacancies and wages are rising sharply as companies seek to attract people to work for them. Temporary work continues to play an important role in the labor market, helping companies to fill positions and people to find work quickly. »

“But employment is still lower than before the pandemic, and while economic inactivity is down this quarter, it’s still much higher than two years ago,” Carberry said. “There are no signs of an economic slowdown affecting the job market yet, but if we don’t address the fact that there aren’t enough people looking for jobs, it could put a further drag on UK economic growth.”

“There are three main things we can do. We need to improve our activation programs to help Job Centers get people to work quickly and radically reform the skills system to help close some of the gaps. And we also need an immigration system that’s flexible enough to deal with the very severe shortages we’re seeing in certain sectors of the economy,” Carberry said.

ONS head of economics statistics Sam Beckett said: “Today’s figures continue to show a mixed picture for the labor market. While the number of people in employment rose again in the three months to April, the figure remains below pre-pandemic levels. Also, although the number of people who are not working and not looking for work has decreased slightly over the last period, it is still well above what it was before Covid-19 hit.

“At the same time, unemployment is near its lowest level in fifty years and there have been a record number of layoffs. Vacancies also continue to increase slowly. At a new all-time high of 1.3 million, that’s more than half a million more than before the pandemic began,” Beckett said.

Tania Bowers, Director of Global Public Policy at APSCo, commented: “The increase in jobs and the decline in available talent has been a topic of conversation with limited action for too long. There is no doubt that there are simply not enough people to fill the skills gaps in the country and the economic forecast is already starting to be affected because of this. Despite the Government’s commitment to improving UK skills, action has been limited – even the long-awaited Jobs Bill has apparently been shelved for the time being.

Anthony Painter, director of policy and external affairs at CMI, said: “Increasingly, people are faced with a choice: work more hours or find ways to increase their salary. And we can see those cost-of-living choices reflected in the latest labor market numbers. hours are worked and we know more widely that many are changing jobs internally and externally to improve pay. A few are tempted into the job, apparently mostly former students currently.

“There’s a divide in today’s tight labor market between those with scarce skills or working in industries that pay premiums and those who don’t,” Painter said. “For those who don’t, the options are more hours where available and hope that basic pay plus government policy support helps cover living costs. Millions of public sector workers will be in this position. Even taking into account short-term factors, growth is anemic or non-existent. From a policy point of view, therefore, the key is to lighten the burden of difficult choices for employers and workers.

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