The FSCA, the leading trade association for professional employment services (umbrella, accountancy, payroll), have provided ICS with today’s ONS labour market statistics:

The UK employment rate (the proportion of people aged 16-64 who were in work) was 74.4% in August-Oct 2016 – this is a slight decrease from the joint record high recorded in May-July 2016, but higher than a year earlier (73.9%). Self-employment fell by 2k, which was underpinned by a reduction of 55k people working full-time and an increase of 53k people working part-time. Temporary employment also fell by 46k.

Year-on-year, there was a 342k increase in the UK workforce which came courtesy of an increase in 129k people working as self-employed, 204k employees, and 37k unpaid family workers. Of this 342k increase, 235k (69%) was attributable to those working full-time and there were 107k more part-time workers.

When looking at the year-on year trends the 35k decrease in temporary employment was underpinned by: 85k fewer workers who were temporary because they could not find a permanent job (483k), 19k more who did not want one (426k), 7k more who were temporary because of a period of training (124k), and an additional 23k who were temporary for some other reason (573k).

Similarly, when looking at the reasons for part-time working (employed and self-employed combined), the 103k year-on-year increase was underpinned by 129k fewer saying that they could not find full-time work (1,160k), 233k more who did not want to work full-time (5,914k), an additional 32k who were ill/disabled (253k) and 33k fewer working part-time whilst a student or at school (1,063k).

There were 748,000 job vacancies for September-November 2016, which was 7k lower than the previous rolling quarter and 5k higher than a year earlier. Unemployment remained at 4.8% in August-October, which was 103k lower than the same period last year. Youth unemployment also remained flat in August-October, at 13.1%, but was down from 13.6% in the same period last year.

Wage growth remained subdued, with regular pay for the period between August-October 2015 and 2016 at an increase of 2.6%. When considering the increase in real terms (i.e. adjusted for CPI), this year-on-year increase fell to 1.7%. Total pay for the period between August-October 2015 and 2016 rose by 2.5%, whilst the real terms increase was also 1.7%. It is worth noting that these wage growth and total pay figures are in nominal terms and exclude the self-employed.

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