Once again, the CBI/Pertemps Network Group Labour Market Update is out and employment growth is on the up. The unemployment rate has fallen to a 42-year low and job opportunities remain at high levels.

Development in jobs

The number of people now in work stands at over 32 million, the highest it has ever been. The majority of new people in jobs were aged 25-34 (88,000+), with those aged 35-49 (+49,000) and 50-64 years (+47,000) also experiencing an increase in numbers.

However, there’s always that one ‘but’. Although unemployment is at its lowest since 1975, the decline in real wages is still a problem and is hindering consumer spending power. Pay growth is still not in line with inflation and the cost of living is increasing. Real pay has fallen for four consecutive months now, something which needs to change.

In the three months to June 2017, regular pay (excluding bonuses) fell by 0.5% on the year as prices rose faster than wages. There are some areas of growth, however. Pay rises rapidly in the services sector (2.2%) and is picking up in construction.

Despite pay growth issues, the development in jobs and the increase in the number of people in employment is brilliant. This shows that businesses are continuing to create new opportunities in the face of challenging times. This is good news, but, we do need to work on improving productivity and addressing skills shortages to unlock sustainable faster pay growth.

To leave on a positive note; individuals working full-time increased by 91,000 while those working part-time also went up by 34,000, per the latest statistics. Our consultants at Pertemps specialise in finding both temp and perm jobs and work with a number of fantastic clients across the country, so if you’re on the lookout for a new opportunity, visit our find a job page.