Wednesday 15 June 2022

*UKHotViewsExtra* Employment data signal clear need for skills and retention in the tech sector

generic skillsThe latest jobs and employment figures were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday, with the following headlines widely reported in the media:

  • Pay excluding bonuses is down 2.2% from a year earlier, after adjustment for inflation, whilst pay including bonuses is just outpacing inflation;
  • The employment rate increased slightly compared to the prior 3-month period but remains lower than before the pandemic and the unemployment rate was also up slightly;
  • The latest available figure for number of jobs (seasonally adjusted) at March 2022 stood at 35.6 million, the highest level since March 2020 and a record increase of 412,000 from the prior figure at December 2021;
  • The number of job vacancies stood at a new record of 1.3 million from March to May, although the rate of growth in vacancies continues to slow - and whilst the number of vacancies outstripped the number of unemployed for the first time in the May data, this was reversed to a small extent in June;
  • And although the number of economically inactive fell slightly on the prior three months, it remains well above its pre-Covid level.

Despite the high figures for both jobs and vacancies, the data prompted speculation on whether the employment market is finally starting to cool and what that may mean for the Bank of England's interest rate decision on Thursday.

But beyond the big picture headlines, there are interesting insights for the tech sector in the data, disaggregated by industry.hv logo

Although jobs in the Information & Communications sector (in which technology firms are included) continue to rise, so too does the number of vacancies. Moreover the sector has the second highest vacancy rate (vacancies per 100 jobs) across all industries. This will not come as a surprise to many tech sector leaders, who are struggling to recruit and retain staff - but it reinforces the urgent need for both skills training and a more creative approach to retention.

More details of all the analysis for the tech sector is available here for HotViews Premium readers. If you are not a subscriber or are unsure if your organisation holds a corporate subscription, pleae contact Deb Seth. You can find ONS summary data on employment, unemployment and economic inactivity here and details of jobs and vacancies here, with links to all publicly-available data-sets.

Posted by Tania Wilson at '15:18' - Tagged: employment   resilience   macro