UK jobs outlook slips
The UK jobs market stands at its least optimistic level in three years, according to ManpowerGroup. After three consecutive quarters at +6%, job prospects are dwindling in the run up to Christmas and have reached their weakest point since the final quarter of 2012.
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,101 UK employers. It asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter. The data suggest employers are already feeling the impact of the National Living Wage, scaling back their recruitment plans in the fourth quarter of 2015. The policy will see six million people receive a 6% pay rise each year until 2020, but the Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that the extra costs could mean up to 60,000 job losses.
James Hick, ManpowerGroup Solutions UK Managing Director, comments: “The National Living Wage is sending shockwaves through the UK labour market … an unintended consequence of the introduction of the new Living Wage is that firms might try to bypass the legislation altogether. We anticipate that some employers may look to mitigate the extra costs by taking on more younger or self-employed workers, who are not entitled to the National Living Wage. While on the surface this could be good news for youth unemployment, which currently stands at 16%, it could push a greater proportion of young people into low skilled jobs, resulting in an influx of less experienced workers into social care and other sectors hardest hit by the new legislation.”