Tag: unemployment

Online job vacancies continue to decline

The ONS has released its latest labour market report and it’s revealed that UK employment figures rose to 75.9% in January to March 2023, which is an increase of 0.2% from October to December 2022. This growth was primarily driven by part-time employees and self-employed individuals.

However, the more recent estimate for April 2023 shows a monthly decline in payrolled employees, dropping by 136,000 to reach 29.8 million, compared to the revised March 2023 figures. This marks the first decrease in total payrolled employees since February 2021, but it should be noted that this estimate is provisional and subject to revision when more data becomes available next month.

The unemployment rate for January to March 2023 increased by 0.1% from the previous quarter, reaching 3.9%. The rise in unemployment was largely influenced by individuals who had been jobless for over 12 months.

On the other hand, the economic inactivity rate declined by 0.4% in the same period, down to 21% in January to March 2023. This decrease in economic inactivity was mainly driven by individuals aged 16 to 24 years. Among the reasons for economic inactivity, the decline was primarily attributed to students or those inactive due to other reasons, while the number of individuals inactive due to long-term sickness reached a record high. According to Parliament UK, this figure has reached an alarming 2.5m.

Analysis of flows between October to December 2022 and January to March 2023 reveals a record high net flow of individuals transitioning from economic inactivity to employment. This shift was responsible for the increase in employment.

Between February and April 2023, the estimated number of job vacancies declined by 55,000 from the previous quarter, amounting to 1,083,000 vacancies. This marks the 10th consecutive quarterly decrease in vacancies, reflecting industry uncertainties as survey respondents cite economic pressures hindering recruitment.

In January to March 2023, average total pay growth, including bonuses, was 5.8%, while regular pay growth, excluding bonuses, stood at 6.7% for employees. The private sector experienced a higher average regular pay growth rate of 7%, compared to the public sector’s 5.6% in the same period. The public sector’s growth rate exceeded the private sector’s for the first time since August to October 2003 (5.7%).

Adjusted for inflation, both total pay and regular pay experienced a decline in real terms in January to March 2023. Total pay fell by 3%, while regular pay decreased by 2%.

Labour disputes resulted in 556,000 working days lost in March 2023, an increase from 332,000 in February 2023.

The report indicates that unemployment is still a concern, which remains above pre-pandemic levels largely because of those who have been out of work for over a year.

Dr Lindsey Zuloaga, Chief Data Scientist at HireVue (used by Aldi, M&S and Unilever) believes one of the main reasons for persisting unemployment is outdated practices in the hiring process that omit certain individuals from landing a job, resulting in long-term unemployment.

Lindsey commented: The unemployment rate in the UK has increased by 0.1% to 3.9%. There are now even more people out of work than before pre-pandemic employment levels. As it’s clear to every business, something is wrong either with the hiring process or with accessibility to jobs, as the number of jobseekers remains excessive, even though we are at a historically high vacancy rate. The question is: why are job seekers not attaining jobs while millions of roles sit empty? Our overattachment to the outdated CV, which is a mere indicator of employment history and not of skills or abilities, could be at the heart of these rising unemployment rates”.

Steve Sully, Regional Director, Finance & Accounting, at Robert Half also made comment: “While there may be a fall noted in jobs in the UK, the uptick in the number of people in self-employment is indicative of a continued growth in demand for highly skilled professionals in particular.

Candidate confidence and a need for better take home pay. Despite an overall growth in average pay noted by the ONS, the data does show that when adjusted for inflation, remuneration actually fell 3% for total pay year-on-year for Q1 of this year. With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to impact households across the country, this drop in pay could be driving more people into self-employment and contract work which can often be more lucrative for highly skilled professionals.”

Share this article on social media

65% of businesses polled were optimistic about hiring

The Singapore Ministry of Manpower released a report on Friday that showed the country’s employment market had grown for the sixth consecutive quarter, with low unemployment rates. However, the number of layoffs increased in Q1 2023.

The report’s advance estimates showed that the labor market continued to expand, but at a more moderated pace compared to the previous quarter. Excluding migrant domestic workers, the total employment grew by 34,500 in Q1 2023, with both resident and non-resident employment growth moderating.

Resident employment continued to surpass its pre-pandemic level as of March 2023, while non-resident employment grew above its pre-pandemic level for the first time. Most of the employment growth came from non-residents, primarily in construction, while resident employment saw the largest gains in community, social and personal services, and financial services.

Overall unemployment continued to trend downward, with a decline of 0.4% year-on-year to 1.8%. The unemployment rates for residents stood at 2.5% and for citizens at 2.7%. There were 61,500 unemployed residents in March 2023, of which 54,900 were citizens, a comparable share of citizens among unemployed residents to that of the labor force.

The ministry noted that layoffs were rising to levels that have not been seen since 2016 and 2017, primarily in manufacturing, construction, and services sectors, attributed to reorganisation, restructuring, and downturn in the industry.

Despite this, the ministry found that 65% of businesses polled were optimistic about hiring, with plans to increase headcount and raise wages.

Share this article on social media

Talent Shortage Continues to Plague Businesses Despite Economic Downturn

According to new data released by the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), despite the historically high rates of unemployment during economic downturns, the talent shortage continues to plague businesses. In a survey of 550 businesses across 17 industries, a staggering 90% of organisations reported difficulties in filling vacancies in their workforce. This is in contrast to the traditional belief that during economic downturns, businesses would have a goldmine of talent to choose from.

Air NZ, for example, is seeking to fill 400 entry-wage roles due to the severe talent shortage in the aviation industry. The airline has increased its entry wage to $30 per hour in an attempt to attract talent. Similarly, Trade Me is actively recruiting for many roles, while Gallagher Bassett is seeing an increase in recruitment needs due to a higher level of claims following the recent flood in Auckland.

While some organisations are increasing base pay to attract staff, others are offering EVPs or finders’ fees. Simpson Grierson, for instance, offers a finders’ fee of $10,000 to employees who recommend the law firm to talented lawyers. The company has had success recruiting senior lawyers by offering flexibility, generous parental leave, part-time options, and a supportive culture that encourages diversity and inclusion.

The government’s recent easing of visa processes has made it easier for companies like Simpson Grierson to recruit overseas lawyers. However, Brown from Trade Me noted that the quantity of skilled migrants showing interest in tech roles remains low, despite the government’s efforts to encourage more offshore talent to consider roles in Aotearoa.

Share this article on social media

Activist, BSP leader demand action on Telangana paper leak, unemployment

Well-known civil rights activist Prof G Haragopal expressed deep concern about the high rate of unemployment in the State and the country. He emphasized the need to enact an Employment Act that would make it mandatory to fill all existing vacancies in the State and Central government sector immediately. Speaking at a roundtable conference organized by Telangana Jana Samithi on the topic of “TSPSC paper leakage, government failure, and ordeal of unemployed,” Prof Haragopal highlighted the importance of employment in the slogan for the separate Telangana movement. He criticized the State government for the decadelong delay in recruitment and the leak of TSPSC question papers.

BSP State President and former IPS officer RS Praveen Kumar questioned the competence of the SIT probing the TSPSC question paper leak case. He alleged that the root cause lies in the official residence of the chief minister, Pragathi Bhavan, and demanded a CBI inquiry into the paper leakage scam and an inquiry by a sitting judge on the lapses in TSPSC.

At the conference, resolutions were passed demanding inquiries and actions to address the issue of employment and the TSPSC paper leakage scam. The conference was attended by several senior leaders, including former IAS officer Akunuri Murali, Prof PL Vishweshar Rao, PoW Jhansi, Venkatesh Chowhan, and others.

Share this article on social media

Report suggests comprehensive immigration reform as a solution to U.S. labor shortage

According to a recent report from the Committee for Economic Development, nearly 11 million jobs are unfilled in the U.S., which is contributing to ongoing economic constraints. Even if all unemployed workers took those positions, approximately 5 million workers would still be needed. The report suggests that immigration reform could help fill the gap, especially as the U.S. population continues to age and birth rates decline.

The report recommends a two-pillar approach to increasing the nation’s quantity of labor. The first pillar is expanding U.S. labor force participation by reskilling, diversifying talent pools, and supporting older workers and caretakers. The second pillar is comprehensive immigration reform that expands legal pathways and encourages immigrants’ immediate contribution to the workforce. Delaying reform could put severe pressures on the U.S. workforce, hindering overall innovation, productivity, and growth.

The report also provides several recommendations for the two-pillar approach. For instance, support for older workers who want to work could include removing the Medicare benefits cliff, piloting a repeal of the Social Security retirement earnings test, and allowing flexible work arrangements. Employers can also expand flexibility for those with dependent care responsibilities, such as employees who care for children, older adults, or other dependents.

To support immigration reform, additional pathways could be opened for work authorization and permanent residence, including raising or eliminating caps on green cards and visas for employer-sponsored workers. The report also suggests streamlining the retention of H-1B high-skill workers and F-1 international students, allowing for changes in employers, and permitting these visa holders to self-nominate for permanent residence after meeting their required visa terms.

Reform measures could also improve processes and upgrade capacity for immigration application and approval, including goals for application decision times, quarterly or monthly allocations for H-1B visas, expansion of interview waivers, and deployment of enough officers to the busiest U.S. consulates. On the enforcement side, mandatory use of E-Verify could help ensure that jobs are filled by screened applicants and deter unauthorized migration by eliminating job opportunities for unscreened applicants.

Other groups have supported similar reforms as a way to fill job openings due to pandemic-era shifts. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and state chambers of commerce have urged lawmakers to consider changes that would help retain high-skill workers and create a reliable verification system to reduce inflation, address supply chain issues, and bolster the economy.

Share this article on social media

GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 3.2% for the first quarter of 2023

According to the Labor Department, jobless claims increased slightly, rising by 7,000 to a total of 198,000 for the week ending March 25. This number is slightly above the estimated 195,000 claims but is still relatively low, indicating that companies are reluctant to lay off workers despite projections of rising unemployment rates throughout the year. The four-week moving average of weekly claims, which smooths out the data’s volatility, has remained below 200,000 since mid-January.

The Federal Reserve is targeting a labor market with a sharp supply-demand imbalance, where almost two open jobs are available for every available worker. However, it is expected that the unemployment rate will increase to 4.5% this year, and more than 540,000 jobs will be lost, according to an Atlanta Fed calculator.

While economic conditions are unlikely to collapse entirely, newly laid-off workers may not be quickly rehired as businesses evaluate their plans to weather a mild recession in the second half of the year. Additionally, the final Commerce Department report for gross domestic product showed a slightly lower annualized rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter due to downward revisions in consumer spending and exports. Despite this, GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 3.2% for the first quarter of 2023, according to the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker. Despite these developments, markets remain unaffected, with futures indicating a higher open on Wall Street.

Share this article on social media

However, employment increased by 0.9%

According to Statistics Canada, the number of Canadian job vacancies fell by 8.2%, or 78,600, in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive quarter to a total of 876,300. The national job vacancy rate declined by 4.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022.Job vacancies declined in 16 of 20 broad industrial sectors and seven of 10 broad occupational groups in the fourth quarter.

In addition, job vacancies declined in 20 of 69 economic regions. The largest decreases were in Laurentides, Quebec, at 28.8%, followed by Winnipeg, Manitoba, at 23.4%.

However, employment increased by 0.9% in the fourth quarter, the seventh consecutive quarterly increase. Employment has continued to increase in 2023, adding 150,000 jobs in January followed by little change in February with 22,000 jobs.

Canada’s unemployment rate was 5.1% in the fourth quarter, little changed from the third quarter and just above the record low of 4.9% reached in June and July of 2022.

Share this article on social media

Overall unemployment rate falls to 2.1%

According to research conducted by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, the labour market improved in 2022 as compared to 2021. The unemployment rate declined, with the overall rate dropping from 2.7% in 2021 to 2.1% in 2022. The resident unemployment rate also fell from 3.5% to 2.9%, and the citizen unemployment rate decreased from 3.7% to 3.0%. These rates were all below pre-pandemic levels.

Total employment witnessed a significant increase of 227,800 in 2022, a record high that brought the total employment level 2.9% above the pre-pandemic 2019 level. Resident employment saw steady growth, with an increase of 26,300 in 2022, primarily in sectors like financial services and information & communications. By December 2022, the resident employment level had exceeded 2019’s level by 4.8%.

Non-resident (foreign) employment was responsible for the majority of the increase in total employment (201,600), with Work Permit Holders (WP+) hiring in sectors such as construction and manufacturing. This increase was primarily due to the significant relaxation of border controls in April 2022, allowing employers to fill positions left vacant during the pandemic.

Despite an increase in the last two quarters of 2022, the total number of layoffs for the year (6,440) was lower than pre-pandemic levels, with business reorganisation/restructuring being the primary reason for layoffs. The percentage of dismissed residents who found employment six months after being laid off increased to 73.1% in Q4 2022, the highest since Q2 2015 (73.6%).

However, the Ministry warns that global economic headwinds and slower growth may impact labour demand going forward, and employment growth is likely to ease from the increase in 2022 and be uneven across sectors. Nonetheless, hiring sentiments remain positive, according to December 2022 data.

Share this article on social media

Unemployment rate shows improvement

According to data released by Statistics Korea, the number of temporary workers in South Korea fell by 2.8% year over year to approximately 4.4 million in February 2023.

When compared to the previous month, the number of temporary workers rose by 5.2% in February 2023. The temporary employment data is not seasonally adjusted.

Further labour market data showed that the unemployment rate marked 3.1% in February, down 0.3% year-on-year and down 0.5% over the previous month.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate stood at 2.6%, down from 2.8% the year prior and from 2.9% the month prior.

The number of unemployed persons totalled 890,000 people in February, which decreased 64,000 persons or 6.7% year-on-year.

At the same time, the number of employed persons totalled 27.71 million persons in February, which went up 312,000 persons or 1.1% year-on-year.

By industry, the business, personal, public service & others industry saw the biggest year-on-year gain in employment (2.7%) while agriculture, forestry & fishing saw a decrease of 3.5% over the year.

The economically active population marked 28.6 million persons in February, which grew 248,000 persons or 0.9% year-on-year.

The labour force participation rate stood at 63.1% in February, up 0.4% year-on-year.

Share this article on social media

Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 3.7% last month

Australian wages and salaries in the private sector jumped up by 11.6% in the December quarter of 2022 when compared to 2021. This compared to company gross operating profit which stood at 16%, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Bureau published its seasonally adjusted quarterly estimates in the private sector measuring sales, wages, profits and inventories for the December quarter 2022.

When compared to the previous quarter, wages and salaries rose by 2.6%, while company gross operating profits rose 11.6%.

On a quarterly basis, by industry, accommodation and food services saw the largest bump in wages and salaries at 7.7%, followed by arts and recreation at 7.4%. Transport, postal and warehousing went up by 6.3%; construction by 4.4%; and financial and insurance by 4.3%.

Data from the Bureau earlier this month showed that Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 3.7% last month, the highest it’s been since May of last year but still a decline of 0.5% from the same month last year.

Share this article on social media