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Unemployment rate lowest since 1974

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The latest ONS labour market figures remain stable

The highlights of the period between June and August 2022 show an employment rate of 75.5%, 0.3% lower than the previous quarter. The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.5%, 0.3% lower than the previous quarter and the lowest rate since 1974.  It is worth noting that the previous quarter (March to May 2022) had a notably higher employment rate than other recent periods meaning that the employment rate drop appears more significant.

The number of job vacancies in July to September 2022 was 1,246,000 a reduction of 46,000 from April to June 2022.  Vacancies fell by 3.6% in July to September and is the third consecutive fall.

Joanne Frew, employment law expert and Interim Global Head of Employment & Pensions at DWF, commented: “Although the so called ‘Great Resignation’ remains an issue for many employers, these figures indicate that the labour market is starting to slow down after a particularly volatile period.

“It will be interesting to see what impact the change of government may have on the labour market. With all EU-derived employment law under review following publication of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill and suggestions that the Government may be considering introducing “no fault dismissals” for higher earners, many employees may feel more hesitant to move jobs until it is clear what impact the new bill may have on workers’ rights.

“The ONS figures show a fall in regular pay by 2.9% for the period between June and August 2022. With the cost of living crisis biting, employers will need to consider new and innovative ways to help support their workforce during this difficult period – from increased flexibility to help reduce childcare costs to one off bonuses (where financially possible) to help with rising costs.”

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