Recently in the last month alone I have been invited to write and talk about Brexit by a few very reputed business and human resources publications. Now, whilst I answered some of their questions I felt it best to reflect and write something for our own users and readers.
UK job market on a strong footing in the wake of Brexit
While the unfolding of the referendum to break ranks with the EU triggered significant and understandable panic among British employers and job applicants alike, it’s turned out to be a bit of a tempest in a teapot so far. The UK job market has shown surprising resilience in the months since the controversial vote – and things are looking positive for many jobseekers.
When Brexit happened, no one was sure what it would mean for workers in the UK. People wondered if salaries would be slashed as the country would certainly experience an ensuing economic slump. Graduates fretted about their future careers and many expats elected to stay abroad until the situation stabilised.
But none of the speculated dread-scenarios have materialised as yet. UK businesses have continued hiring new staff members and salaries have actually increased in the period during and after Brexit.
The UK employment market is on the up and up
The second quarter of 2016 was a positive one for the British labour market. Total unemployment in the run-up to Brexit from April to June dropped by 52 000 to 1.64 million, while the unemployment rate remained at a steady 4.9%, according to the Office of National Statistics. This is the lowest it has been since 2005, which is certainly cause for celebration.
Incomes are on the increase
Wages, excluding bonuses, rose by 2.3% during the same period, and salaries continue to climb post-Brexit. Researchers have found that there has been an increase in available jobs, salaries and application rates; the figures for August 2016 are significantly stronger than those from a year ago. The sectors showing the highest growth rates are the automotive, manufacturing, marketing, catering and construction industries.
Welfare dependence is decreasing
In an unexpected turn of events, the July statistics for the number of people on the dole showed that there had been a drop of 8 600 from June. It remains to be seen whether this decrease will continue, but initial thoughts are that it is a good sign.
The ensuing uncertainty also had some positives for temporary workers
Qualifying the above optimism around the job market, however, is concern from recruitment consultancies, many of whom reported a sharp drop in permanent job placements immediately after Brexit. This came as some employers, cautious about the aftermath of the vote, opted to increase interim placements instead of hiring permanent staff. However, this decision was unrelated to demand – there are still jobs that need to be filled, whether by casual staff or full timers.
While there is still a good deal of uncertainty about the long-term effects of Brexit, and it will take some time for the full future picture to emerge, it does look like the outcome for employment is unlikely to be anywhere near as bad as initially predicted. The market was badly shaken by the vote, but it is shaping up to be stronger than expected.
Currently the job market is ripe for gig seekers across the country. While this is more true for certain types of jobs and industries than others, countless opportunities exist for good earning potential – have a look at our platform to see what’s on offer. Sign up and find your ideal job today.