United Kingdom – Temporary workers down 4.8%, employment rate hits record high

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January 21, 2020

According to the Office for National Statistics.

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

The number of temporary employees as a percentage of total employment was 5.3%, down from 5.6% from the same period a year ago.

Compared to the previous period ended in October 2019, the number of temporary workers increased by 2.5%.

Of the 1.45 million temporary employees during the period ended November 2019, approximately 364,000 were temporary because they could not find permanent employment; 370,000 did not want a permanent job; 131,000 had a contract with a training period; and 557,000 cited other reasons.

Of the 1.42 million temporary workers, about 699,400 were men while about 759,300 were women.

The ONS also released labor market figures for the three-month period ended November 2019.

The UK employment rate was estimated at an all-time high of 76.3%, 0.6% higher than a year earlier and 0.5% higher than the previous quarter. The highest estimate of the employment rate in the UK was in the South West (79.8%) and the lowest in the North East (71.4%).

The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8%, down 0.2% from a year earlier but largely unchanged from the previous quarter. The highest unemployment rate estimate in the UK was in the North East (6.2%) and the lowest in Northern Ireland (2.3%).

The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at an all-time high of 20.6%, 0.4% lower than the year before and the previous quarter.

The estimated annual growth in average weekly earnings of employees in the UK remained unchanged at 3.2% for total pay (including bonuses) and slowed to 3.4% from 3.5% for regular pay ( excluding premiums); The annual growth in total compensation was weakened by the unusually high bonuses paid in October 2018 compared to the more typical average bonuses paid in October 2019.

In real terms (after adjusting for inflation), the annual growth in total compensation is estimated at 1.6%, and the annual growth in regular compensation is estimated at 1.8%.

During this time, there were around 805,000 vacancies in the UK from October to December 2019; this is 11,000 less than the previous quarter and 49,000 less than a year earlier.

ONS Labor Market and Household Manager David Freeman said: “The employment rate hits a new record, with more than two-thirds of the growth in the number of working people over the past year. from women working full time. “

“While wage growth has slowed since last summer, with inflation remaining subdued, profits continue to rise in real terms,” Freeman said.

Neil Carberry, CEO of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said: “Today’s labor market statistics have two sides. On the one hand, it is great news that the UK labor market has remained so stable in the face of uncertainty and the economy continues to keep a record number of people working. On the other hand, companies want to grow but are struggling to find the right people in such difficult conditions. Employers in construction, education and social services – three sectors that are central to our prosperity – need workers at all skill levels.

“We need a controlled immigration system that works for the whole economy,” Carberry said. “The government must be careful not to deprive businesses of the essential skills they need. It would be a big victory for the government to introduce a temporary immigration route to meet the needs of the economy for some workers at lower pay and skill levels. It will help businesses succeed after Brexit and support jobs and growth here in the UK. “


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