Recruitment on the up: UK unemployment hits seven-year low

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), jobless figures in the UK have dropped to their lowest point in seven years. This is fantastic news for the UK jobs market, showing that recruitment is on the up, companies are investing in talent and fewer people are out of work.

The data, published on the CIPD website among other publications, shows that the number of unemployed people has fallen to 1.83 million in the first three months of 2015. This is a significant drop of 5.5% compared to the previous quarter and the lowest the figure has been for several years. The number of people in work, meanwhile, has hit a very healthy 31.1 million.

Commenting on the ONS data and what it means for the new UK government and business owners, the CIPD’s labour market adviser Gerwyn Davies said:

“This first set of figures for the new government will put an additional spring in its step. Employment growth continues to grow sharply, but what is most impressive is the proportion of people in full-time work.

“However, while this high water mark should be celebrated, it reinforces the need for government policy to raise the ambitions of employers, especially in relation to productivity which continues to drag its feet.”

A move towards job security

In terms of specific sectors and groups of job hunters, the figures show that the number of unemployed young people (aged 16 to 24) has fallen by 22,000 from the last quarter. The number of full-time, self-employed workers also dropped by around 27,000, which experts believe suggests a move towards job security. Meanwhile, the administrative, real estate and support services sectors experienced the biggest growth in jobs – employing an extra 30,000 more people over the last few months.

Confidence in hiring ‘sky high’

Other research has also shown that the UK jobs market is looking very healthy, as the latest BDO Business Trends Report revealed that employers are increasingly confident about growing their workforces and investing in new talent. In the BDO employment index, the reading for March 2015 is 113 –  to put this in context, a reading over 100 shows jobs growth that is ‘above the long-term trend’. Strong data for the last two months shows that employers’ hiring intentions are “sky high” and surprisingly, the data shows that they are even more confident about hiring new staff than during the economic boom of the 2000s.

Pay rises for UK employees

The Office for National Statistics also uncovered another statistic that will be great news for British workers and job hunters alike – that the average pay for UK employees has risen by 2.2% compared to the same time last year. According to experts, such as senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, Ben Brettell, wage growth will remain steady for the next few years, which could also be good news for interest rates and the UK economy in general.

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