Temporary employment falls below 1.4m for the first time since 2008
Yesterday, the ONS issued their latest labour market statistics which confirmed that temporary employment has fallen below 1.4m for the first time since 2008. See our Market Analysis section for more on the different types of temporary worker affected.
Other key points are that the UK workforce (all in employment) shrank by 0.2% in May - July 2019 compared to the previous quarter. At 32,693k, it was 56k smaller than the previous quarter (March - May 2019) but was 282k (0.9%) larger than the same period a year earlier.
Of this 56k (0.2%) quarter-on-quarter decrease for all workers, the balance was achieved by 73k (0.3%) more people working full-time but 129k (-1.5%) fewer part-time workers.
Self-employment also fell by 25k (0.5%) to 4,930k (underpinned by 64k (1.9%) more people working full-time but 89k (5.9%) fewer working part-time). This represented a self-employment rate of 15.1%.
Similarly, temporary employment recorded a level 69k (4.7%) lower than the previous quarter. At 1,398k, this was the first time that it has dropped below 1.4m since August - October 2008. This represented a temporary employment rate of 4.3%.
In contrast, permanent employment rose by 20k, the number of unpaid family workers increased by 2k (1.2%) to 129k, whilst the number of individuals on Government training & employment schemes increased by 17k (41.4%) to 57k.
Over-50s more likely to be unemployed
Those aged 50 to 64 are 37% more likely to be unemployed for more than two years than under-50s, according to analysis from jobsite Rest Less. Their research was based on analysis of ONS labour market data and found that those aged 50 to 64 are more likely than any other age group to remain unemployed for two years or more. The research also revealed that 21% of unemployed people are aged over 50. There is also a gender gap - 38% of men that are unemployed for 24 months or more are aged over 50, compared to 35% of women. In addition, analysis of ONS data for The Telegraph shows that 31,000 people in their 50s were made redundant between April and June, compared with 15,000 people in their 40s.
Legal duty for company directors to increase pay for their staff?
According to the Social Market Foundation (SMF), there should be a new legal duty for company directors to ensure that employees, at all levels of the company, are sharing in the proceeds of company growth. Many big investors say they want to back firms that meet standards for the environment, society and governance (ESG) and assess companies partly on whether they pay the minimum wage and comply with labour laws. The SMF said that such ESG analysis should set a higher standard, judging firms on how pay and train their staff. They suggest there could be a new “kitemark” for firms that offer good wage and career progression and training. Lastly, SMF said that companies should have to publish data on wages, progression, training budget and HR practices, which could ultimately be shown in league tables by sector.
British financial firms are ahead in implementing robotic processing automation
While 37 per cent of UK financial services firms surveyed have implemented robotic processing automation (RPA) – a technology used to automate human activities – only 28 per cent of global firms have adopted the technology, according to a report published today by PwC. Fintech is also driving job creation within financial services in the UK. According to the report, the majority (63 per cent) of firms are creating new positions as a result of the technology. Although UK firms may lead the way when it comes to robo-advisors, the research found they are much less likely to have implemented big data (29 per cent vs 46 per cent) or the internet of things (15 per cent vs 31 per cent) than their international rivals.