The number of people in employment has reached a record high as employers “pull out all the stops” to attract candidates.
The latest ONS figures show that total employment rose to 32.2 million in November, raising the employment rate to 75.3%. This is the joint highest rate recorded since comparable records began in the early 1970s.
Lee Biggins, Founder and Managing Director of CV-Library, said that the figures demonstrate that employers are fighting for the best candidates.
“Our Q4 job market report revealed that advertised salaries rose by 2.7% quarter-on-quarter and 1% year-on-year,” he said. “It’s clear that businesses across the nation are pulling out all the stops in a bid to rouse candidate appetite and stimulate growth in the economy.”
Despite the low unemployment rate, there is also a record number of vacancies, which hit the highest level since comparable records began in 2001 – up 60,000 on the year before.
Gerwyn Davies, Senior Labour Market Analyst for the CIPD, said that this record high number of vacancies points to a tightening of the labour market. “Employers will increasingly need to review their employment offering to continue to attract applicants,” he warned. “The constraints in labour supply could therefore require a change in recruitment processes and greater investment in the training and upskilling of existing staff to ensure organisations have the skills they need to succeed.
“This will prove particularly pressing given the fall in net migration from the EU.”
Richard Dorsett, Professor of Economic Evaluation at the University of Westminster, said that despite this news appearing positive for jobseekers, there were still some being left out.
“Despite apparent strong demand, some people still spend lengthy periods unemployed,” he said. “The fact that roughly 20%, 30% and 40% of young (18-24), prime age (25-49) and older (50+) unemployed respectively have been out of work for more than a year suggests a structural problem within the labour market.”
CV-Library reported that this week has seen their biggest influx of candidates than ever before. “Our data shows that many workers are turning to the job hunt after a few weeks of settling into work post-Christmas,” added Biggins. “If you’re looking to make excellent hires right now, this is certainly the time to start recruiting.”