LMI Bulletin (Issue 483)

Produced by the LMI Team at Education Development Trust 

LMI Bulletin (Issue 483)


Latest LMI data
The ONS monthly report on the labour market  - this one covering the period, Jan- Mar 2021. Some grounds for optimism with unemployment in the North East down to 70,000 from a high in 2020 of 86,000. In the UK, the number of payroll employees increased again but still over three-quarters of a million down on the pre-pandemic level. The redundancy rate (rate per 1000 employees) was down to pre-pandemic levels

Seasonal workers
You may recall that last year there were campaigns - Feed the Nation and Pick for Britain - run to fill the labour gaps in the food supply chain; from supermarket workers, delivery drivers to agricultural workers. The time is coming round again and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee is concerned that there will not be enough seasonal workers to work on the land to bring in the harvest. 

DEFRA reports that EU workers account for 99% of seasonal labour for the edible horticulture sector. The new immigration and points based system which was introduced in Jan 2021 sets a minimum salary and various other requirements to permit a EU resident to be provided with a work visa. This would exclude temporary (relatively) unskilled seasonal workers, but an exception has been made for this group through the continuation of the seasonal workers pilot. The Committee's concern is that there has been insufficient preparation for 2021 to enable sufficient seasonal workers, while the Government says that "This year the government will again work alongside industry to build on last year’s efforts to promote the recruitment and retention of domestic seasonal workers in 2021, as well as leading a review into automation in horticulture which will begin this Spring." Look out for another campaign to encourage people back to the land.

Graduates' labour market outcomes
The impact on graduates' opportunity to find work during the pandemic has been mentioned many times in the last 12 months. This graph from ONS shows the scale of the impact on recent graduates - that's those who graduated in the last five years. It peaked at 12% at the end of quarter 3. In fact there is always a blip during the third quarter, when graduates finish their course and many are looking for work. However this was much more pronounced in 2020.

What the chart also shows is that overall, unemployment amongst graduates is consistently lower than the total - averaging 3% compared to the total average of 4.2%.  One other stat that will stick is that as of 2017, approximately 42% of the 34 million individuals aged 21 to 64 years had a graduate degree.   The Office for Students has published a Graduate Employment and Skills Guide to help graduates into work.

Job postings update
The headline figures for vacancies comes from the ONS Vacancy Survey which shows that the vacancy count was (Feb-April 2021) at its highest level since Jan-March 2020. The ONS analysis of Adzuna's jobs data which provides a weekly analysis of the online job postings, shows that the online vacancy count as at 7th May was back to 2019 levels and that hospitality, never out of the news, was above the pre-pandemic levels. 

In fact the only sector which, according to Adzuna, is still below the pre-pandemic level is retail and wholesale. Given the dramatic increase in logistics, this seems to support the notion that while we were once a nation of shopkeepers, we are now a nation of delivery drivers.

Bulletin date: 
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 15:00