ONS | Jobs market stable despite Brexit turmoil

Jobs market stable despite Brexit turmoil

The Office for National Statistics has released its latest Regional Labour Market Statistics report, which analysed the state of the employment market for the last quarter, and found that whilst the uncertainty of the UK’s exit from the EU still looms over the labour market, its effects are not making a marked impact on its stability.

The employment rate estimate for people between the ages of 16 and 64-years-old within the UK for the period of July to September 2019 was 76%; this represents a decrease of just 0.1 percentage points compared to the previous period of April to June 2019. Whilst this number has indeed decreased, many analysts predicted that the imminent Brexit implications would have a far more severe effect on UK employment rates.

Whilst this may suggest that the UK’s market may be buoyant enough not to feel the effects of Brexit too strongly, it’s worth noting that previous estimates were based on an exit date of October 31st – a deadline that has now passed.

“The UK labour market has shown incredible resilience in the face of uncertainty and political turmoil. This year has seen record numbers of people in work and there are big opportunities out there,” said Neil Carberry, CEO at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

“But the warning signs are there in the form of slowing jobs growth and falling vacancies while REC data shows skills shortages across a number of sectors like construction and retail. This is why the election in 30 days needs to be about work. There are few things voters consider to be more important than this.”

Employment by region

The UK region with the highest employment rate estimate was the South West at 81%. The ONS report stated that the rate in the South West is the highest for any region since records began. The next highest employment rate estimate was seen in the South East at 79.3%, followed by the East of England at 78.3%. The highest estimated rate for the same period last year was also in the South West at 78.9%. There were also record-high employment rates in the North West, West Midlands and Northern Ireland.

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The region with the lowest employment rate estimate was the North East at 71.2%, followed by Northern Ireland at 72.3%. The lowest estimated rate for the same period last year was in Northern Ireland at 69.4%.

The largest increase in the employment rate estimates, compared with April to June 2019, was in the West Midlands at 0.7 percentage points, followed by the North West at 0.6 percentage points. The largest decrease in the employment rate estimates, compared with April to June 2019, was for Wales at 1.1 percentage points, followed by Scotland at one percentage point.

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