Tag: Employment

Unemployment rate hits record low

According to Statistics Canada, employment in Canada fell by 43,200 jobs in June from the previous month, the first decline since January and fully offsetting the increase of 39,800 recorded in May. This marks the first employment decline not associated with a tightening of public health restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic.

The agency indicated the employment loss in June from May was almost entirely due to a decrease of 51,000 jobs among workers aged 55 and older; there was little change in total job numbers among youth aged 15 to 24 and the core-age population aged 25 to 54.

The numbers came as a surprise to economists, who had been expecting the economy to add about 20,000 jobs during the month, CBC reported.

Positively however, Canada’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points in June to a new record low of 4.9% — the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976 — as fewer people looked for work. Total employment in Canada was 19.6 million in June.

June’s employment decline was driven by losses in part-time jobs, which fell by 39,100. Full-time employment fell by 4,000. Self-employment declined, while the number of employees in both the public and the private sectors held steady.

Jobs fell by 76,000 in the services-producing sector with losses spread across several industries, including retail trade. However, the goods-producing sector saw an increase of 33,000 jobs in June, with gains in construction and manufacturing.

Average hourly wages for employees increased 5.2%, or C$1.54, on a year-over-year basis in June to $31.24, compared with a year-over-year increase of 3.9%, C$1.18, in May.

By province, employment decreased in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec, while there were gains in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.

Looking at just Ontario, the number of jobs fell by 24,700 to a total of more than 7.7 million. The province gained 27,900 full-time jobs but lost 52,500 part-time jobs. Ontario’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in June from 5.5% in May.

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Employment trends index shows slowdown in positive job growth

Following the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment bulletin report, the Conference Board Employment Trends Index was released on 6 June 2022. The employment index indicated a slowdown in job growth in the months ahead.

Despite job growth remaining positive, the measure moved downward from a reading of 120.60 in April to 119.77 in May.

Sectors involving leisure and hospitality as well as in-person services have not yet completely recovered from their Covid-linked job losses. However, with consumers likely to move from spending on goods to services, these industries will likely see some employment growth.

Agron Nicaj, Associate Economist at The Conference Board, commented: “The labor market may have less room for more growth with overall employment down only 0.5% compared to the pre-pandemic level.”

“The labor market remains strong amid high inflation, and the Federal Reserve is likely to continue its focus on stabilizing prices as a result,” but “a strong response by the Fed risks higher unemployment rates by the end of 2022.”

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London has the highest hiring demand despite increased cost of living

The latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey has found that employers in the UK plan to increase headcount massively in the third quarter of this year. Based on responses from 2,030 UK employers, the survey looks at intentions for increasing, maintaining, or reducing workforce numbers in the next quarter.

Despite aggressively recruiting in the months post-pandemic, businesses are still struggling to fill vacancies.

According to the survey, UK’s employment outlook has tripled in the last 12 months. The Q3 outlook has reached a new high of +35%. This is a 22%-point increase from the third quarter of 2021.

The survey found that:

  • Banking, finance, insurance, and property are at the top of the list, increasing by 14% since the last quarter to +49%
  • London employers are also the most optimistic, increasing 10% in hiring confidence, moving up to +41%
  • The IT and technology industries are similarly committed to recruitment, increasing by 7% to +49% in the next three months
  • Manufacturing employers are also high on the list – the hiring intent is up by 27% to +38%
  • The hospitality sector was down by 9% to +25%.

Chris Gray, UK Director at ManpowerGroup, says: “These record hiring plans demonstrate the continuation of an employment trend, which sees businesses keeping their feet firmly on the gas, despite the familiar challenges with the UK labour market. Despite a shrinking workforce and with a large proportion of inactive workers, employers are still keen to recruit fresh talent to help them deliver their services, and to surf the wave of growth for as long as possible.

“We are seeing an active labour force confident enough to switch employers in the search for higher salaries, across both permanent and temporary categories. This is being driven by the rising cost of living and the need to chase higher wages to combat a dwindling disposable income. Demand for staff still outstrips supply, so the choice for candidates remains plentiful.

“On the other hand, we are seeing businesses work hard to bring in new talent but struggling to retain existing employees. Companies find themselves caught between a rock and hard place, in an effort to strike a balance between hiring new talent and being mindful of the needs and pressures felt by their existing employees.”

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New research reveals which jobs are at risk

According to new research, 37% of employees believe that their current job is threatened by automation and digital transformation. Based on survey results of over 1,000 UK workers, HR software provider CIPHR has released a list of the occupations that are the most and least likely to be replaced by technology or machines.

In the survey, respondents were asked to rate the likelihood that their occupation could become automated. Thirty-three percent of women and 43% of men believe that it is very likely that automation could replace their jobs. Further findings revealed that 54% of respondents aged 18 – 24 believe that their jobs may not exist in the future compared to 27% of those over 45.

To measure how closely people’s perceptions were to the likelihood of automation making people’s jobs redundant, CIPHR compared the survey results to a report Office for National Statistics (ONS). Across all the occupations included in the study, the findings showed a notable difference between workers’ perceptions and ONS researchers’ predictions.

A significant number of people vastly underestimated or overestimated the probability of their work becoming automated, suggesting a misconception about which jobs and associated tasks are susceptible to automation.

According to the research, 60% or more of jobs such as kitchen and catering assistants, cleaners, and sales and retail assistants are at risk of automation. Still, many people in these roles believe that the likelihood of this happening is relatively low.

Of the jobs considered to have a low risk of automation (30% or less), such as nursing, IT directors, and accounting, many people doing these jobs fear that their roles are at risk.

The research showed that, on average, people in more labour-intensive, non-desk based roles are more likely to underestimate the impact of automation (69%) than desk-based workers (49%).

There were similar results findings when looking at salaries. Many more people earning over £40,000 a year are more likely to overestimate the likelihood of automation taking over their jobs compared to employees earning under £31,285 (76% vs 29%).

The occupations with the smallest difference between perception and probability included:

  • Human resource managers and directors (29% think their job is likely to be automated)
  • IT user support technicians (27%)
  • Programmers and software development professionals (27%)
  • Restaurant and catering managers and proprietors (38%)
  • Bookkeepers, payroll managers and wages clerks (55%)

Claire Williams, Chief People Officer at CIPHR, comments: “Almost every industry has been transformed in some way by technology. And while digitalisation and automation have brought many positive benefits to organisations, such as improved efficiencies and productivity, streamlined processes, and reduced costs and timesaving, there is still much uncertainty about how it will impact people’s jobs in the long term.

“The challenge is to get the right balance of technology and people. Employees need to feel valued, that their roles have been enhanced by technology rather displaced by it. People often underestimate the human skills that they bring to their roles – the many parts of their jobs that can’t easily be replaced by algorithms and AI. The workplace and job roles will continue to evolve with technology, so employers need to consider the best ways to upskill and reskill their existing employees to keep up with these changes – making sure that they have the capacity, skills and capabilities to do their jobs and progress in their careers.”

Based on the survey results, many employees are unprepared for the changes ahead in their working lives. But even if occupations can become fully automated, it doesn’t mean they will. Instead, more than likely, roles will evolve, and new roles will be created.

 

 

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RefuAid offers English language tuition to clients

A consortium made up of a number of UK-based employers, brought together by entrepreneur Emma Sinclair, MBE has pledged resettlement support to those who have fled the conflict in Ukraine. The scheme will offer language support as well as jobs to refugees arriving in the UK.

Most skilled professions require intensive English language tuition and UK re-accreditation to practice, which usually involves undertaking exams and/or further training. This process is prohibitively expensive for those who have sought sanctuary in the UK and is time consuming. The purpose of the scheme’s providing language support will largely speed up this process.

Companies such as FDM plc, PageGroup plc, PWC and Portman Dental Group are each sponsoring 50 RefuAid clients to learn English language and receive resettlement support. Sponsors will not have the right to employ the clients at the end of their courses.

Over 120 large companies (and many smaller ones) have engaged and have expressed interest in joining the consortium. Some of these businesses are: Caffe Nero, Capital One, Domino’s Pizza, Dunelm, Mitie, Mondalez, Nando’s, Northumbrian Water, Sodexho, Speedy Services, Wincanton, WPP and many more. Many are announcing other initiatives in support such as The AA and WH Smiths.

Emma Sinclair, MBE commented: “My father’s side of the family came from Ukraine, fleeing pogroms and persecution. It is not surprising – but very uplifting – to see how quickly business has stepped up to fill an urgent gap in light of the Ukrainian crisis. There is an overwhelming desire to help refugees resettle and have meaningful lives, finding employment commensurate with experience.

“The slow, bureaucratic process to set up a life in the UK needs to be sped up. This launch initiative is the first step towards significantly accelerating the pace that the United Kingdom can do that – and do that better. A second large wave of supporters has already been assembled and we will shortly be ready to expand the programme. I hope through this consortium that we are seeing the beginning of much needed blue print for how to help refugees arriving on our shores to lead dignified independent lives, for all our benefit.”

Kevin Ellis, Chairman and Senior Partner at PwC, made comment: “A profession is part of someone’s identity – we want to use our strengths as a training business to support refugees into the right work for them. This is a no-brainer for businesses looking for talented people, and we’re delighted to work with other businesses to get moving on this important pilot which aligns with our existing activities to support refugees.”

Steve Ingham, CEO at PageGroup commented: “With over 40 years’ experience of changing lives, we will continue to use our expertise to create opportunities. Being part of the Business.Consortium allows us to provide talent to UK businesses that are crying out for skilled employees as well as break down entry barriers to employment for the Ukrainian refugees.”

Rod Flavell, CEO, FDM Group also commented: “We are very excited to be joining forces with the other businesses to offer job opportunities to Ukrainian refugees. Last year FDM recruited over 2,500 new joiners into our permanent workforce. We are looking to hire in excess of that number in 2022 so we are open minded as to numbers.”  

Anna Jones, CEO, RefuAid: “Forced migration is one of the leading issues of our generation. Whilst governments must be called upon to provide safe and legal routes to sanctuary more support is needed to enable people to rebuild their lives in the new communities they find themselves. This consortium displays the amazing capacity businesses and the third sector have to create change by working together to support people and RefuAid are thrilled to be a part of it.

If you’d like to join the Business.Consortium please contact Emma Sinclair, MBE.

 

 

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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate moved down to 3.8%, which was far ahead of expectations, as the US economy continues to rebound.  

The BBC reported that job growth across the US was widespread and led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, health care and construction with the number of new jobs added well above analysts’ estimates of around 400,000 new roles. 

Companies also added more jobs in January than previously estimated, according to revised numbers released on Friday with average hourly earnings rising by 5.1% over the past 12 months, although that figure is down from a 5.7% annual increase in January. 

According to reports, most of the rise in jobs came from the leisure and hospitality industries, which added 179,000 new roles, and at bar and restaurant companies, which filled 124,000 jobs.  

Employment in professional and business services rose by 95,000 jobs in February. 

However, the total number of jobs on US payrolls is still 2.1 million below where it was before the pandemic. 

Analysts predicted that the stronger-than-expected jobs market increased the certainty that the US central bank will raise interest rates at its next meeting which is something US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell was in favor of as quoted saying earlier this week.  

Neil Birrell, Chief Investment Officer at Premier Miton Investors made comment “It looks like rates up by 0.25 basis points will be coming this month, as noted by Powell yesterday. The outlook is too uncertain for more than that.”  

Seema Shah, Chief Strategist at Principal Global Investors, said an interest rate rise in the US was “all but baked in” to help control soaring inflation rates. 

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Payrolled employees reached a record 29.5 million  

According to the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) published by the ONS, economic inactivity has increased by 0.1 percentage points to 21.2%.   

The increase in economic inactivity since the start of the pandemic was largely driven by those who are economically inactive because they are students or for “other” reasons, revealed the survey. In the latest three-month period however, those who are inactive because they are students continued to decrease, while the increase was driven by those who are inactive because of long-term sickness and “other” reasons.  

The UK employment rate, however increased by 0.1 percentage points on the quarter to 75.5%, while the number of self-employed workers remained low following similar decreases seen during the pandemic. The number of employees increased to another record high and job-to-job moves also reached record numbers in October to December 2021, driven by resignations.   

The survey revealed that the number of payrolled employees also increased monthly in January to a record of 29.5 million while unemployment decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 4.1%.   

Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 4.3% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 3.7% among employees in October to December 2021. In real terms (adjusted for inflation), total and regular pay fell on the year at negative 0.1% for total pay and negative 0.8% for regular pay. Previous months’ strong growth rates were affected upwards by base and compositional effects. These temporary factors have largely worked their way out of the latest growth rates, however, a small amount of base effect for certain sectors may still be present.  

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds commented: “With just 4.1% of the population unemployed, we are now nearly back to pre-pandemic levels of unemployment, but we’re by no means back to normality. The labour pool has shrunk dramatically thanks to the double impact of Brexit and the pandemic on our non-indigenous workforce. And the number of open job vacancies continues to increase as businesses struggle to recruit the skilled talent they need – now standing at a record 1,298,400, according to the ONS.”    

Paul Modley, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at AMS also made comment: “We are seeing more and more talent acquisition leaders encouraging hiring managers to rethink their qualification requirements which can often inadvertently limit the intake pool. While there is often a temptation to use language such as ‘demonstrate superior skills’ in a job description, by making small changes to use inclusive wording such as ‘demonstrate competence in…’, employers are far less likely to put off some candidates from applying. By challenging the language used in job specifications, businesses can make an immediate impact on their ability to tap into a wider talent pool at the very beginning of the recruitment process.”  

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80% of industries reporting record job vacancies

According to the latest labour market stats from the ONS, October saw 29.3 million employees, up by 160,000 on the revised September statistics. However, it was noted that it’s possible these figures may change while furloughed staff, who were made redundant, work out their notice period. But responses to the ONS survey suggest that redundancy numbers are likely to be a small share of those still on furlough when the scheme came to an end.

The Labour Force Survey estimates that for July to September 2021 the employment rate increased 0.4 percentage points on the quarter, to 75.4%. ONS reported that the increase in employment was because of a record high net flow from unemployment to employment. Total job-to-job moves also increased to a record high, largely driven by resignations rather than dismissals, during the same period. The rise is also driven by an increase in part-time work and an increase in the number of people on zero-hour contracts, driven by young people.

The unemployment rate decreased 0.5 percentage points to 4.3% while the inactivity rate remained unchanged at 21.1%.

But we have yet to see the full effects of the end of the furlough scheme and the relevance of zero-hour contracts in these figures. David Head, Director at TALiNT Partners commented: “Zero-hour contracts, if implemented ethically between employer and employee, are perfect because they allow flexibility in the workforce and allow businesses to expand and contract whenever necessary. However, having vast numbers of people on zero-hour contracts will inevitably mask the true numbers of the unemployed.”

The latest figures show that the number of job vacancies in August to October 2021 continued to rise to a new record of 1,172,000. This is an increase of 388,000 from pre-pandemic numbers of January to March 2020 level, with 15 of the 18 industry sectors showing record highs.

During the quarter, annual growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 5.8% and regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 4.9%. Annual growth in average employee pay has been affected by temporary factors that have inflated the headline growth rate. These factors are now waning and will have a smaller impact on growth rates, according to the report.

James Reed, Chairman of REED commented on the continued increase of job vacancies: “This ongoing rise in job vacancies is a positive sign of the economy’s continued revival. Rapid job creation means there are plenty of opportunities to go around, and not just for those recently off furlough, but also for others who have faced long or short-term unemployment as well as those already in work who are seeking a new challenge.

“After experiencing a cautious labour market during the pandemic when job opportunities were restricted and workers were less incentivised to move, there has never been a better time to look for a new role than now.”

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A new hip and happening ‘thing’ that employers are encouraged to allow their staff time to pursue, the side hustle, should be neither cool nor celebrated as it’s indicative of employers not willing to pay enough for much-needed talent.
As we, sooner or later, look at an economy beyond the pandemic (with hopefully the Omicron variant being just a hiccup) there is one aspect of how a lot of people work that has crept up on us over the years and has generally been accepted as not a bad thing –  the side hustle. But for some time now I’ve been concerned that this cool-sounding, funky term actually disguises something much more invidious and that is a reliance of too many people to need more than one job; and an unwillingness of employers to pay a proper wage.

 

From what I can see, side hustles fall into different categories: doing something you enjoy in your spare time that may or may not make a little money (often traditionally known as a ‘hobby’) is one. Alternatively, it may be a more serious undertaking: one of my senior colleagues here at TALiNT Partners is a trained counsellor and does important work with her clients outside of her work with us from which she gets a great deal of fulfilment. Calling this a side hustle, whilst technically accurate, feels disrespectful and a bit demeaning.

There are jobs done by students whilst studying or during the summer holiday. Back in my day these were mainly referred to as, er, student jobs! I do have a friend whose daughter continues to offer tutoring to students while she studies to qualify as a lawyer. To be fair, that’s a great example of a ‘side-hustle’ although I’m pretty sure once she qualifies as a lawyer and has her 2,000 billable hours to hit, it will almost certainly fall by the wayside.

Renting your spare room used to be called ‘having a lodger’ now it’s having a side hustle through Airbnb. I’m not sure I see much of a difference.

But by far most of the people who seem to have a side hustle – Uber drivers, Deliveroo riders, cleaners – are people who are generating income to pay rent, buy food and generally do the things they need to and there’s nothing ‘side’ about it; it is income that is central to their ability to get by.

A 2019 survey from CV Library suggested that 60% of people who had a ‘side hustle’ were doing it to supplement their basic income and it’s likely that COVID-19 will have made this worse rather than better.

The government announcement of the rise of the national living wage will undoubtedly make a difference, but I can’t help but think that de-glamourising this notion of a side-hustle and calling it what it is for most people and that it’s an essential element of their income – will also help.

So, for most people, a side hustle isn’t optional, and it certainly isn’t cool. And as we look across the economy at sectors desperate for staff – the care sector, hospitality, driving and warehouse staff to name a few, I can’t help but think that those employers who pay enough to have 100% of the work effort from their people, especially those who have shown the commitment, drive and often ingenuity to hold down more than one job will reap enormous benefits. That would be a nice result all round.

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Net employment outlook at third strongest in Europe

According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, employers across Ireland anticipate the highest level of hiring in 17 years, for the fourth quarter according to The Net Employment Outlook for Ireland stands at +34%, the third strongest in Europe. The powerhouse area behind this positivity is the manufacturing sector – up 53 percentage points from the previous year to +39% for Q4 2021.

Transport and logistics is also poised for headcount growth, with employment outlook rising to 39% for the coming quarter. The retail sector also intends to hire significantly, bouncing back with the promise of continued government employment supports for the industry remaining in place until March 2022.

Elsewhere, the finance and business service sector remains strong, up ten percentage points on last quarter to +20%. However, the construction industry is being hit by limitations to supplies and hiring plans and has contracted 19 percentage points from last quarters record high, yet the employers in the sector remain optimistic with a hiring Outlook of +20%.

  • Nationwide, employers in all industry sectors report positive hiring plans for Q4.
  • From a regional perspective, employers in Dublin are reporting positive hiring intent with an outlook of +39%, with Munster being the most positive province for the next quarter at +44%.
  • Larger-sized organisations (250+ employees) are reporting the strongest hiring confidence for Q4 with an employment outlook of +39%.
  • Currently 69% of employers are struggling to fill roles. This leaves us with a significant talent gap where employers need to be investing in recruitment drives, upskilling and retraining programmes as long-term solutions to filling roles.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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