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Latest Labour Statistics from FCSA

The FSCA, the leading trade association for professional employment services (umbrella, accountancy, payroll), have provided ICS with the most recent labour market statistics.


• The UK employment rate (the proportion of people aged 16-64 who were in work) was at 74.5% in September-November 2016, which is higher than a year prior (74%).
• When compared to the June-August 2016 period, the UK workforce did fall marginally in September-November 2016 by 9k (to 31,802k).
• Self-employment fell by 17k – this was underpinned by 49k less people working full-time, and 31k more working part-time.
• Temporary employment reduced by 35k.

Year-on-Year Trends

• There was a year-on-year increase of 294k in the UK workforce, which was due to an increase of 129k self-employed people, 144k employees, and 32k unpaid family workers. Of this increase, 209k (71%) was attributable to full-time workers and there were 89k more part-time workers.
• When looking at the year-on-year trends, the reasons for the 22k decrease in temporary employment were the following: 76k less workers were temporary because they could not find a permanent job (499k), 29k more who did not want one (424k), 25k less that were temporary because of a training period (109k), and 50k more who were temporary for other reasons (590k).
• Similarly, the reasons for the part-time workers 80k year-on-year increase were that 99k less were unable to find full-time work (1,150k), 161k more that did not want to work full-time (5,888k), 30k more who were ill/disabled (258k), and 13k less working part-time whilst a student or at school.

Other Trends

• The number of job vacancies was at 748,000 for October-December 2016, which is 2k fewer than the previous rolling quarter, and 3k fewer than the same period a year prior.
• Unemployment was still at 4.8% for September-November, and at 1604k this was 52k less than the previous quarter, and 81k fewer than the same period in the year prior.
• Youth unemployment was at 12.7% for September-November, which is a decrease of 0.4% from August-October, and a decrease of 1% from the same period last year.
• National wage growth increased, with regular pay for the period between September-November 2015 and 2016 at an increase of 2.7%. When taking into account the increase in real terms (i.e. adjusted for CPI), this year-on-year increase drops to 1.7%. Total pay for the period between September-November 2015 and 2016 increased by 2.8%, and the increase in real terms was 1.8%. Both these figures are in nominal terms and exclude the self-employed.

Comment from FCSA

Julia Kermode, CEO of FCSA, noted that the statistics on the decrease of temporary employees contradict the recent media rhetoric that suggested the UK’s employment figures are driven by more people in non-permanent, part-time “precarious” roles. Kermode then pointed out that despite the downturn in temporary employment, the increase in self-employment year-on-year shows that the self-employed are key pillars of the UK economy, and that recent experience has demonstrated their essential role in economy recovery therefore Government should ensure that they are nurtured for the ongoing stability of the workforce.

We certainly agree with this suggestion, and we work to support the self-employed by providing accountancy for contractors and SMEs. ICS are a FCSA Associate and work in partnership with recruitment agencies to ensure that the contractors they refer are looked after, and are paid in a quick, compliant way. You can find out more about how we support recruitment agencies by clicking here.

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