Labour Market Information for Parents and Students

All pupils and parents need to have access to quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities.  This information can be used to make decisions on which career pathways to choose and how to enter these.  Below you will find a recent update on the Labour Market that you may find useful.

June 2018 - Update

The ONS’ latest labour market data painted a familiar picture —strong employment growth and falling unemployment. But stubbornly slow pay growth means that living standards remain under pressure, so doubling down on efforts to boost productivity remains critical.

Employment remains at a record high, with growth similar to the relatively strong rates seen over most of 2017, bringing the employment rate back to a joint record high since 1971.

Unemployment decreased once again, returning the rate to a 42-year low. A very small margin of slack in the labour market likely remains among those who would prefer to work longer hours or in permanent employment. However, a period of stronger and more sustained real wage growth is needed to recover the real value lost over the last year.

 Looking across the UK’s regions and nations, most have experienced a significant improvement in employment while unemployment levels have remained broadly unchanged.

 How has the rate of employment changed?

  • The employment rate increased to 75.6%, up 0.3% points on the quarter, bringing it back to the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971.

How has this differed across genders?

  • While female unemployment increased by 112,000, male employment rose by 34,000 on the quarter. Both also posted an increase year-on-year, with female employment rising by 275,000 and male employment increasing by 165,000.

How has this differed across age groups?

  • Employment grew in almost all age groups. The rise was strongest among those aged 50-64 years old (+86,000), 35-49 (+31,000) and 16-24 (+27,000). It remained largely unchanged for those aged 25-34 years old (-7,000) and for those aged 65+ (+9,000).

What sectors have seen a rise in pay rates?

  • Looking at the private sector in more detail, the construction sector continues to have the strongest nominal regular pay growth in the three months to April 2018 (+5.1% on the year – the fastest since mid -2008), followed by finance (+2.8%) and services (+2.7%). Nominal regular pay growth in manufacturing (+2.7%) and wholesaling (+2.3%) remained broadly unchanged compared to March. The continued strengthening in pay growth in construction particularly could be linked to the acute skills shortages in the sector. 

What sectors have seen an increase/decrease in jobs?

  • The accommodation & food services industry (+45,000) and the information & communication sector (+41,000) registered the largest increase in workforce jobs in the three months to March 2018. They were followed by the education (+23,000) and the human health sector (+23,000). 
  • The agriculture and forestry sector saw a decline (-18,000) on the quarter, while all other sectors have remained broadly unchanged.
  • With regard to longer-term trends, manufacturing, wholesale and construction have seen more significant changes year-on-year. Workforce jobs in manufacturing increased (+46,000) with wholesale (-30,000) and construction (-17,000) declining.


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