The key numbers this week come from the latest Graduate Outcomes survey, but Charlie Ball's labour market update also covers the CIPD's comprehensive Good Work Index
Graduate Outcomes data is here. This data covers graduates who left university in 2019/20, during the COVID pandemic and who were surveyed in summer 2021, by which time many restrictions had eased. The overall data is a lot more positive than many feared.
- 89% of graduates who responded to the 2019/20 survey were in some form of work or further study (up from 88% in the survey of 2018/19 graduates). 6% of graduates were unemployed while 5% were doing another activity such as travelling, caring for someone, or retired. 76% of those in work were in high skilled occupations.
- Among full-time first degree graduates, the percentage in full-time employment increased from 52% in last year's survey to 54%. The percentage who were unemployed dropped from 9% to 6%.
- The median salary of full-time first degree graduates in full-time UK employment 15 months after finishing higher education was £25,000. This was the same for both male and female graduates. Among graduates in high skilled occupations, the median salary was £27,000 for male graduates and £25,000 for female graduates.
- 86% of survey respondents agreed that their current activity was meaningful, 77% said that it fit with their future plans, and 71% agreed that they were using what they had learned during their studies.
We at Jisc will say more about this later, but what seems to have happened is roughly the following:
- At the outset of the pandemic (before these graduates left their courses), employers made a great many cuts to programmes but few suspended all of their graduate recruitment.
- During the summer of 2020 it started to become clear that remote working was a good deal more effective than many had expected and many graduate-recruiting businesses were able to carry on with only mild disruption.
- At the same time the government's furlough scheme preserved jobs at many businesses unable to make use of hybrid working.
- By autumn 2020, it was starting to look as if the worst case scenarios for employment across the economy had been avoided and that the effectiveness of remote working meant that recruitment for 2021 might be much closer to normal.
- By spring 2021 businesses were starting to (quietly) report labour shortages. This cohort of graduates were around nine months out of graduation.
- In May 2021, most remaining restrictions were lifted and recruitment took off. At this point widespread labour shortages across multiple sectors were reported.
- By late 2021, when this cohort were surveyed, the labour market had changed radically from the one they had graduated in to one with vacancy levels well above pre-pandemic levels.
- This means the data for this cohort after 15 months is more favourable than that for those in the year previously who graduated in a more favourable labour market than their 2020 peers, but who were surveyed during significant lockdown restrictions.
In real terms, growth in total pay was 0.4% but regular pay fell on the year by 2.2% as strong bonus payments have kept recent real total pay growth positive.
The UK employment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points in the three months to April to 75.6% but is still below pre-pandemic levels, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
- The most timely estimate of payrolled employees for May 2022 shows a monthly increase, up 90,000 on the revised April 2022, to a record 29.6 million.
- Total actual weekly hours worked increased by 12.2 million hours to 1.04 billion hours in February to April 2022, compared with the previous quarter.
- However, this is still 7.6 million below pre- pandemic levels. Average actually weekly hours worked have now returned to levels similar to those seen before the coronavirus pandemic, with the average hours worked by part-time workers 0.6 hours above their pre-coronavirus levels. Consequently, the shortfall in total hours compared with pre-coronavirus is down to the reduced numbers in employment.
- The unemployment rate for February to April 2022 decreased by 0.2 percentage points on the quarter to 3.8%. Those unemployed for up to six months increased over the latest three-month period, the largest increase since late 2020.
- However, this was offset by decreases in those unemployed for over six months, with those unemployed for between 6 and 12 months decreasing to a record low. Those unemployed for over 12 months also continued to decrease.
- The economic inactivity rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 21.3% in February to April 2022. The decrease in economic inactivity compared with the previous three-month period was largely driven by those economically inactive, because they were students.
- The number of job vacancies in March to May 2022 rose to a new record of 1,300,000. However, the rate of growth in vacancies continued to slow down.
- Growth in employees' average total pay (including bonuses) was 6.8% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 4.2% in February to April 2022.
- In real terms (adjusted for inflation), growth in total pay was 0.4% but regular pay fell on the year by 2.2%; strong bonus payments have kept recent real total pay growth positive.
Welsh data is here:
- For February to April 2022 the unemployment rate for people aged 16+ in Wales was 3.5%, higher than 3.0% in the previous quarter (November 2021 to January 2022). This is an increase of 7,000 people from the previous quarter to 53,000.
- The unemployment rate in Wales (3.5%) is higher than Northern Ireland (2.6%) and Scotland (3.2%) but lower than England (3.9%).
Unemployment data is also available by parliamentary constituency. For the 12 months to December 2021 Swansea West had the highest rate (11.3%) and Bridgend the lowest rate (1.9%).
Next, the Scottish data is here:
- The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for February to April 2022 indicate that over the quarter, the unemployment rate decreased, while the employment rate increased and economic inactivity rate decreased.
- The estimated unemployment rate (16+) in Scotland was 3.2%, down 0.5 percentage points since December 2019 to February 2020 (pre-pandemic) and down 0.6 percentage points over the quarter. Scotland's unemployment rate was below the UK rate of 3.8%.
- The estimated employment rate (the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work) in Scotland was 75.5%, up 0.2 percentage points since December 2019 to February 2020 and up 1.0 percentage points over the quarter. Scotland's employment rate was slightly below the UK rate of 75.6%.
- Early seasonally adjusted estimates for May 2022 from HMRC Pay As You Earn Real Time Information indicate that there were 2.42 million payrolled employees in Scotland, an increase of 1.6% (37,000) compared with February 2020 (pre-pandemic). This compares with the UK where the number of payrolled employees has increased by 2.2% over the same period.
And Northern Irish data is here:
- The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period February to April 2022 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.6%. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.6 percentage points over the quarter and by 1.0 percentage point over the year.
- The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work increased by 1.5 percentage points over the quarter and by 1.8percentage points over the year to 70.2%. The total number of weekly hours worked in NI (27.9 million) increased by 6.6% over the quarter and by 9.7% over the year.
- The economic inactivity rate decreased by 1.1 percentage points over the quarter and by 1.2 percentage points over the year to 27.8%.
Data for the UK regions can be found here:
- Between April and May 2022, the number of payrolled employees continued to increase in all regions of the UK, with the largest percentage increase in Wales and the smallest percentage increase in the South West.
- For the three months ending April 2022, the highest employment rate estimate in the UK was in the South West (79.3%) and the lowest was in Northern Ireland (70.2%).
- The largest changes in the employment rate compared with the same period last year were in the West Midlands and the South West, both with an increase of 2.7 percentage points, while the only decrease was in the North East, down 0.3 percentage points.
- For the three months ending April 2022, the highest unemployment rate estimate in the UK was in the North East (5.2%) and the lowest was in Northern Ireland (2.6%); the unemployment rate for Scotland remains at a joint record low, of 3.2%.
- All regions of the UK saw a decrease in the unemployment rate compared with the same period last year, with the East Midlands seeing the largest decrease of 2.2 percentage points, while the smallest decrease was in the East of England, down 0.3 percentage points.
- For the three months ending April 2022, the highest economic inactivity rate estimate in the UK was in Northern Ireland (27.8%) and the lowest was in the South West (18.3%); the largest change in the economic inactivity rate compared with the same period last year was in the South West, with a decrease of 2.2 percentage points, while the largest increase was in the East Midlands, up 1.3 percentage points; Yorkshire and The Humber was the only region that was unchanged compared with the same period last year, at 23.4%.
- Between December 2021 and March 2022, workforce jobs increased in 11 out of 12 regions of the UK; London had the largest increase of 93,000 and the only decrease was in the North East, down 4,000; London had the highest proportion of service-based jobs at 92.2%, while the East Midlands had the highest proportion of production sector jobs at 12.3%.
Almost every occupational group saw an increase in active job adverts last week. The biggest weekly growth in adverts was for probation officers.
We also have Q1 (January to March) data from Ireland:
- There were 2,505,800 persons aged 15 to 89 years in employment in Q1 2022. This represents an increase of 275,200 (+12.3%) over the year from Q1 2021.
- The employment rate for persons aged 15 to 64 years was up from 65.6% to 72.8% over the year to Q1 2022.
- Of those who were in employment in Q1 2022, an estimated 168,100 (6.7%) were absent from work during the reference week (i.e., temporarily absent from work for reasons such as holidays, sick leave or maternity leave). This compares to 309,500 (13.9%) who were absent from work during the reference week in Q1 2021.
- The estimated total number of hours worked per week in Q1 2022 is 80.8 million hours, up by 12.1 million hours or 17.6% on Q1 2021.
- There were 126,700 unemployed persons aged 15-74 years in Q1 2022 using ILO criteria, with an associated unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 of 4.8%, down from 7.1% in Q1 2021.
- The unemployment rate among those aged 15-24 years was 7.5% in Q1 2022, down from 15.6% in Q1 2021.
- The estimated labour force (i.e., the sum of all persons aged 15-89 years who were either employed or unemployed) stood at 2,632,500 in Q1 2022, up by 9.6% (231,400) from Q1 2021. The estimated participation rate in Q1 2022 was 64.8%, up from 60.0% in Q1 2021.
The latest rapid indicators of economic and social change are now available from the ONS:
- The total volume of online job adverts on 10 June 2022 was 129% of its February 2020 pre-coronavirus average level, with decreases across all English regions and UK countries compared to three weeks prior.
- Of the 28 categories, 25 saw a decrease in the number of online job adverts on Friday 10 June 2022 when compared with three weeks ago. The largest decrease was in 'manufacturing' (22%), followed by 'facilities and maintenance' (17%). The largest increase compared with three weeks ago was in 'wholesale and retail' at 6%.
- The volume of online job adverts decreased in all English regions and UK countries on 10 June 2022 when compared with three weeks ago. The largest decreases were seen in the East Midlands, the West Midlands and the South West, falling by 14%, 13% and 13%.
The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) have released their Labour Market Tracker, produced along with EMSI:
- In the week of 6 to 12 June, there were 1.69 million job adverts in the UK, a record high for 2022.
- This is despite the number of new job postings falling to 160,000 in the week following the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.
- Almost every occupational group saw an increase in active job adverts last week. The biggest weekly growth in adverts was for probation officers (+33.1%). The construction sector saw significant increases in job adverts last week.
The adoption of hybrid routines is associated with higher levels of job quality compared with workers who report no time spent working from home.
The CIPD have released their annual Good Work Index, surveying UK workers about their job quality.
There is a lot of fascinating information in here and the report is well worth a read:
- Workers in professional occupations (who are likely to be graduates) report higher job satisfaction on most measures.
- 7% of the 2022 sample have moved jobs in the past six months, compared with 6% in previous years. 5% have moved jobs in the last six to twelve months.
- 20% of workers say it's likely they'll quit their job in the next 12 months, compared with 16% in 2021. However, this figure is very similar to employee intention to quit prior to the pandemic, with 18% or 19% of workers saying this in the previous CIPD Good Work Index findings.
- There is also a downward trend in workers thinking it's likely they'll lose their job in the next 12 months, and workers are more confident about being able to find comparable work than they were during the pandemic.
- 39% said they would find it difficult to leave their organisation, even if they wanted to, and 31% said they'd like to quit their job but have too few options to leave. People with caring responsibilities were particularly likely to say this, as were people in lower-paid roles.
- 5% of those saying they are looking to leave their job in the next 12 months said it was because of the COVID-19 pandemic prompting them to change their career path. Only 2% of those who have left their role in the last 12 months cited this as a reason.
- In 2021, the CIPD found that an increasing number of workers said they found meaning in their work. Seventy-six per cent agreed they were doing useful work for their organisation, 54% said they felt they did useful work for society, and 51% said they were motivated by their organisation's purpose. Key workers were particularly likely to say they did meaningful work for society in 2021, with 68% agreeing with this statement (compared with 45% of non-key workers), reflecting the key role they played through the pandemic. In 2022, however, the overall figures dropped to pre-pandemic levels, particularly around doing useful work for society. Just under half of workers in 2020 and 2022 said they did meaningful work for society, down from 54% during the pandemic. Key workers continued to feel that they do useful work for society in 2022 (60%), a drop since 2021 but still higher than non-key workers (40%).
- The most common reasons workers cited as factors behind them wanting to leave their job in the next 12 months were for better pay and benefits elsewhere (35%), to increase job satisfaction (27%), for better work–life balance (24%), and to do a different type of work (23%).
- When asked why those who left their jobs in the last year had done so, the main reasons were better pay and benefits elsewhere (27%), unhappy with the leadership of senior management (21%), better work–life balance (20%), and to do a different type of work (18%).
- Around half of workers who've moved roles in the past 12 months have moved into a higher-paying role (53%). A quarter moved into a role with less pay (25%), and a similar amount into a role paying a comparable amount (22%). Workers in managerial and professional roles are more likely to have moved into a better-paying role than in lower occupational groups
- 78% of workers 18 to 24 move into better-paid roles, compared with 33% of workers 65 and over
- 34% of workers have moved to a role with more responsibility, 25% moved to a role with less responsibility. Reflecting a similar pattern to pay, workers in managerial and professional roles are more likely to take on roles with more responsibility than workers in elementary occupations.
- 58% who have moved jobs in the last 12 months reported that their new job is more fulfilling than their last. Workers in managerial and professional roles are more likely to say their new job is more fulfilling.
- In total 43% of work time was spent working at home.
- Workers in professional and associate professional occupations have spent a much greater proportion of their work time, on average, at home, amounting to 63% and 57% respectively in these occupations.
- Informal flexibility is unevenly distributed across occupations with managerial (34%), professional (33%), associate professional (32%) and skilled trades occupations (35%) benefiting from substantially greater flexibility than other workers
- The adoption of hybrid routines is associated with higher levels of job quality compared with workers who report no time spent working from home. More time spent at home aligns with higher mean scores in several job quality dimensions.
- However, hybrid workers appear to face the biggest difficulties in balancing work and life, including work-life spillover and longer working hours than would be preferred.
And finally, there is this FT piece on hybrid working from Emma Jacobs, featuring a bit from me
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