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Employment News

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Job vacancies currently outweigh employment in the UK.

For the first time ever in the UK, job vacancies currently outweigh unemployment. According to the BBC, “The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% between January and March, its lowest for almost 50 years, as job openings rose to a new high of 1.3 million with around half a million people being disengaged from the labour market.” The number of workers joining UK payrolls grew by 35,000 between February and March to 29.6 million, but according to the ONS, this was the smallest monthly increase since February last year.

With wages also being unable to keep up with the growing rate of inflation and the fast-rising cost of living, filling roles has become more difficult, making the current rate of placements lower than the pre-pandemic level. In this month’s Labour Market Tracker from the REC, there were around 1.69million job adverts being shared across the UK, this is due to a backlog of job ads being shared following the closing of businesses during the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

 Image: BBC via Office for National Statistics.

Four-Day Working Week Trial

Across the UK, a number of companies are trialling a 4-day working week without an impact on pay. Around 70 companies are taking part in the trial, which involves an 80% work week, with 100% pay. This is a pilot programme run by 4 Day Global and is going to run for around 6 months, in what is known as a ‘100-80-100’ system, 100% pay, 80% of the employee’s time, with a promise of 100% of their productivity.

 

Highest Fall in Basic Pay Since 2011

According to the Office for National Statistics, wages fell by 1% between December 2021 – February 2022, with wages struggling to keep up with the increasing rate of inflation and cost of living. Public sector workers are deemed most likely to be impacted by the changes, with their wages increasing by only 1.9% compared to the private sector’s 6.2%. The Office for Budget Responsibility recently warned that households will experience the biggest fall in income since records began in 1956, expecting a drop of more than 2.2% this year.