Employment drops ahead of Brexit – ONS labour market figures, October 2019

Jobs Market
Brexit uncertainty hit the jobs market with employment falling in the three months to August, to 75.9%, 0.2% lower than last quarter. According to new figures from the ONS, the unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.8% last quarter to 3.9%.


The number of job vacancies continued to fall to 813,000, 11,000 fewer than the previous quarter and 34,000 fewer than the previous year. Earlier this month the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Report on Jobs showed that employers were delaying or cancelling hiring plans amid continued Brexit uncertainty.


Tom Hadley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said:
“Our prosperity depends on businesses creating jobs and opportunities for people to progress through work. Employment is still high, underlining the fundamental resilience of our jobs market. However recent figures flag some warning signs as Brexit uncertainty bites. 


“REC data shows that employer confidence in the economy is at a low-point, with businesses rolling back investment plans. This is reflected in declining vacancies and rising unemployment. 


“Even now there’s time to rule out a no-deal Brexit and help businesses create jobs and strengthen our economy. For business to succeed we need people to come to the UK and contribute their skills at every level, especially in hospitality, logistics, and healthcare. Immigration policy must be based on what businesses need. We must ensure that measures are taken now to maintain both demand and supply.”