UK Employment Figures, July 2019: Has Britain’s Jobs Market Hit the Ceiling of Full Employment?


Employment growth appears to grind to a halt as vacancies decline, but low unemployment and solid wage growth mean it’s still a good time to look for a job

After months of consistent growth, the employment rate has fallen for the first time since last summer. Tiny though the slide is—0.1 percentage point on the quarter—it’s a hint that Britain’s booming jobs market could finally be colliding with the ceiling of full employment.

It’s far too early to tell if this is a blip or a turning point. Many aspects of the latest labour market snapshot remain rosy. Overall, it’s still a good time to look for a job, with the overall ratio of unemployed people per vacancy remaining at 1.5, suggesting that employers still need to compete for recruits. Together with minimum wage increases, this may have helped propel wage growth to its highest pace since 2008. On the other hand, vacancies have declined since hitting a peak in January 2019, which suggests that some employers may be standing on the sidelines as they watch how Brexit and the global slowdown in demand will affect the economy in the coming months.

Which occupations have had largest declines in job postings?

With overall vacancies in decline, we looked at Indeed’s own data to see which occupations have experienced the largest falls. We found that job postings for education-related roles such as teachers and teaching assistants fell by 13% as a share of all postings, while transportation-related job postings declined by 5%. At the same time, despite the overall decline, demand for some jobs continues to grow. Online job postings for healthcare support roles jumped by almost a quarter (24%) over the past year, while demand for personal care and service roles (care workers, childminders) increased by 15%. This means that jobseekers with different skills and interests are likely to experience the current jobs market differently.

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