Today’s labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the number of vacancies at 852,000 for January to March, 32,000 more than a year earlier.

The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%; it has not been lower since November 1974 to January 1975. There were an estimated 1.34 million unemployed people, 76,000 fewer than for a year earlier and 914,000 fewer than for five years earlier.

The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1%, higher than for a year earlier (75.4%) and the joint-highest figure on record, with 32.72 million people in employment, 457,000 more than for a year earlier. The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.7%, lower than for a year earlier (21.2%) and the joint-lowest figure on record.

Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) chief executive Neil Carberry commenting on ONS labour market figures:

“Today’s figures demonstrate the strength of the jobs market, which is a key UK success story. There are opportunities out there for job-seekers to move and take their careers to the next level.

“While progress on employment has slowed in the face of uncertainty about Brexit and slower global growth, our surveys show that firms are still experiencing shortages of key staff. This is a big risk to future growth.

“Recruiters are working with their clients to address shortages, playing a pivotal role for more and more firms as shortages bite. But businesses, recruiters and employees need government to back them up. A strong start would be changing skills policy to help fill key shortage roles. Reforming the apprenticeship levy into something that can help temporary workers develop their careers is an essential part of this.”

Source taken from REC ( The Recruitment & Employment Confederation)