Trends | Record employment impacting recruitment of migrants and other minority groups

Record employment impacting recruitment of migrants and other minority groups

The UK’s employment rate has hit a staggering 75.7%, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1971. This massive milestone has had a knock-on effect in many areas of work and recruitment, according to a new report from the Resolution Foundation, so we have found the key takeaways that all recruitment specialists need to know.

Migrants have boosted employment figures, without taking away opportunities from natives

EU migrants have higher employment levels than natives, which has helped to push the total percentage of employed people upwards. However, it is key to note that these migrants aren’t ‘stealing jobs’ that otherwise might have been held by native Brits – employment rates are at a record high for them as well, so everyone is benefitting.

Ethnic minorities, people with low qualifications and people with disabilities have been the largest contributors to rising employment levels

Many typically disadvantaged groups have seen a huge jump in their employment levels, which hopefully suggests a positive trend in employer attitudes. Ethnic minorities account for almost half of the increase, with the most prominent subgroup being ethnic minority people who are high-qualified, non-disabled, and not single parents (comprising 21% of overall employment growth).

Both of these facts suggest that the labour market is currently very tight – causing firms to look at disadvantaged groups and seeing their potential with fresh eyes.

The high employment rate might be a result of poor earnings growth

The researchers suggest that there is strong evidence to suggest that people are working more to compensate for a loss of earnings power and a reduction in other sources of income – noting that the amount of time Brits spend at work each week has increased. They theorise that people in work have chosen to put in more hours in response to the well-documented poor performance of earnings in the years following the financial crisis.

“Ten years ago, when the UK was in the depths of recession, few would have predicted that Britain would break new employment records again so quickly."

"But that is exactly what has happened,” said Stephen Clarke, Senior Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation. “Record employment levels have changed Britain and seen falling ‘employment inequality’, as the 2.7million jobs boom has particularly benefited lower-income families and disadvantaged groups.

“While the jobs surge has not been as dominated by London or low paid work as some claim, new challenges have developed – particularly for younger workers and with a big rise in insecure work. And while more people are working, as a country we are still earning less each week for doing so than we were ten years ago.

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