The latest UK labour statistics have been released from the FCSA. FCSA are the leading trade association for professional employment services (umbrella, accountancy, payroll), and they were founded by a group who wanted to set the standard and differentiate themselves from less scrupulous competitors in the marketplace. There are a number of tax and legal regulations to adhere to in this industry, and Associates and Members adhere to the FCSA Charter which confirms that their businesses operate legally and are run by Fit & Proper Persons.

The labour statistics were revealed to generally be positive, with a key figure being that the UK employment rate, which is the proportion of people aged 16-64 who were in work, remained at 74.5% between July-September 2016. This is the joint highest level since comparable records first began in 1971.

Other key figures were released too; unemployment fell to 4.8%, which represents a 37k fall against the previous quarter, and a 146k fall against the same period last year. Youth unemployment also fell, from 13.7% to 13.1% in the previous quarter, and 14.1% in the same period last year. Both unemployment and youth unemployment were at their lowest level since July-September 2005.

The UK workforce, compared to the April-June 2016 period, increased by 49k in July-September 2016. There were also 757,000 job vacancies for August-October 2016, which was a 12k increase from the previous quarter, and an 18k increase from this time last year.

Wage growth remained rather subdued; regular pay (in nominal terms and excluding the self-employed) for July-September 2016 was at an increase of 2.4% compared to the same period last year. When this year-on-year increase is adjusted for CPI, it drops to 1.7% – however, we must remember this does exclude self-employed earnings.

The self-employed are supported by service provider organisations who adhere to the FCSA Charter, such as accountancy firms like ICS. ICS are a FCSA Associate and provide SME accountancy, as well as accountancy for contractor workers. We work in partnership with recruitment agencies to ensure that the contractors they refer are looked after, and are paid in a quick, compliant way. It is simple to refer to ICS, recruitment agencies can refer their candidates using this form or call us on 0800 195 3750.