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Honeymoon persists in labour market despite break-up with EU

Ben Willmott

Commenting on the ONS Labour Market Statistics, Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, comments.

Despite the slight fall in employment this quarter, today’s figures still paint a generally positive picture of employment growth and pay. They match findings from a recent CIPD survey of UK employees, where the majority believe it is unlikely they will lose their job and almost half say their financial security has remained stable since the start of the year.

However, these are backward-looking indicators. Our recent, forward-looking Labour Market Outlook survey of employers paints a much more negative picture, with specific challenges around rising costs, lack of investment in skills and downward pressure on pay. It’s therefore important that employers and the Government aren’t complacent, as it’s likely that once the post-referendum honeymoon in the labour market ends, we will start to see the negative economic impact of the vote coming through in these numbers.

“In order to stay one step ahead, Government needs to plan for the longer-term, focusing on policies that help improve skills development and productivity in Britain’s workplaces. Employers also need to concentrate now on developing their long-term talent pipeline, invest in the skills of their existing workforce and develop the progressive people management practices that will future-proof their organisations regardless of the type of Brexit negotiations deliver.”

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