This website is part of the Nicholas Associates Group. Click on the group logo to find out more.

ONS Labour Market Overview: January 2024

We have compiled a summary of the significant findings from the latest ONS report for January. This report provides crucial estimates and statistics related to employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, and other important indicators for the UK. Through this, we can gain valuable insights into the current state of the labour market.

HR professionals sat having a discussionJob Vacancies

According to the latest statistics, the estimated number of vacancies in October to December 2023 was 934,000, which is a decrease of 49,000 from July to September 2023. This marks a record 18th consecutive period of falling vacancy numbers. The total estimated vacancies were down by 226,000 from the level a year ago, although they remained 133,000 above their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) January to March 2020 levels. The wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, and transport and storage sectors have experienced the largest quarterly decreases in the number of vacancies.

Labour Disputes

In November 2023, there were 69,000 working days lost because of labour disputes across the UK, the lowest number of working days lost since May 2022. Over half of the labour disputes in November 2023 were in the transport, storage, information and communication industries.

Payroll

According to early estimates for December 2023, the payrolled employment rate in the UK rose by 1.0% compared to the previous year. The largest increase was observed in the health and social work sector. Median monthly pay increased by 6.6% compared to December 2022, with the highest increase in the transportation and storage sector and the lowest increase in the professional, scientific, and technical sector. Furthermore, payrolled employment decreased by 24,000 employees (0.1%) in December 2023 compared to November 2023, which is likely to be revised with more data.

Annual Growth

According to the latest data, the annual growth rate of regular earnings (excluding bonuses) in Great Britain was 6.6% from September to November 2023. For the same period, the annual growth rate of employees’ average total earnings (including bonuses) was 6.5%. In real terms, after adjusting for inflation using the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), the annual growth rate of total pay increased by 1.3% on the year, while the annual growth rate of regular pay increased by 1.4%.

HR professionals sat around a table, having a discussionNumber of Jobs

According to the latest update in March 2024, the estimated number of workforce jobs in September 2023 was a record-breaking 36.8 million, which is an increase of 210,000 jobs since June 2023. Employee jobs increased by 179,000, reaching a record high of 32.5 million. However, self-employment jobs estimates have not shown the same level of growth, and they remain 625,000 below the pre-coronavirus December 2019 level. Although the recovery varied across industries, 8 out of 20 sectors were still below their pre-coronavirus levels in September 2023. The human health and social work industry showed the largest increase in job numbers, up by 395,000, followed by accommodation and food service activities, which was up by 291,000. On the other hand, wholesale and retail trade faced job losses, which remains 253,000 below the December 2019 levels.

Employment/Unemployment Rates

The UK’s employment rate is estimated to have decreased from May to July 2023 compared to the previous quarter while the unemployment and economic inactivity rates have increased. The employment rate is currently 0.5 percentage points lower than the previous quarter and 1.1 percentage points lower than before the pandemic. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has increased to 4.3%, which is 0.5 percentage points higher than the previous quarter and 0.3 percentage points higher than before the pandemic.

Economic Inactivity

The UK’s economic inactivity rate has been estimated at 21.1%, which is 0.1 percentage points higher than the previous quarter. It is also 0.9 percentage points higher than the rate before the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the total number of hours worked has decreased compared to the previous quarter and is once again below the levels seen before the pandemic.

 

In conclusion, the job vacancies in the UK have decreased, marking the 18th consecutive period of falling vacancy numbers. The payrolled employment rate, on the other hand, has shown a 1.0% increase compared to the previous year. With the health and social work sector experiencing the largest increase. The annual growth rate of regular earnings has also increased, although the total number of working days lost due to labour disputes has hit an all-time low since May 2022. However, the UK’s employment rate has decreased, while the unemployment and economic inactivity rates have increased. Overall, the UK’s job market is experiencing mixed results, with some sectors showing growth while others continue to struggle.

Source: Labour market overview, UK – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

Our News Centre - Latest Posts

Short Articles

Five Emerging Trends in the Finance Job Market

10/07/24

In an industry as dynamic as finance, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. Technological advancements, regulatory changes and shifting economic conditions are continually evolving and advancing the field. Here are some of the emerging trends that you should be

Five Emerging Trends in the Finance Job Market

Short Articles

The Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace

28/06/24

The Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace

Short Articles

Addressing the Challenges of Hybrid Working Models

25/06/24

Addressing the Challenges of Hybrid Working Models

Short Articles

Building a Culture of Inclusion During Pride Month and Beyond

14/06/24

Building a Culture of Inclusion During Pride Month and Beyond

Short Articles

ONS Labour Market Overview: June 2024

12/06/24

ONS Labour Market Overview: June 2024

Short Articles

Leadership Stories Unveiled: Christina Duru

11/06/24

Leadership Stories Unveiled: Christina Duru

This site uses cookies. You can see our full cookie policy below, as well as agree to our use of cookies, or manage your individual settings.

News

Search

NA Group

The UK’s market leading partner of choice for talent management solutions, from Apprentice to Boardroom.

Our teams are specialists in their field, supporting apprentice and graduate placements, flexible workers, quality permanent recruitment, executive search and innovative L&D and software consultancy. Click below to visit our company websites.