Unemployment rises but REC still seeing demand for staff

The amount of people unemployed in the UK reached a 17 year high in the three month period up to August, having risen by 114,000, it was reported yesterday.

8.1% of the working population is now without a job in the UK, but it wasn’t all bleak news, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

It has forecast for unemployment to plateau at a maximum 2.6million mark, which has almost been reached now, due to the resilient nature of the UK’s jobs market.

The REC’s director of Policy and Professional Services, Tom Hadley, felt things would get better sooner rather than later, “...we remain confident that we will not get anywhere near the 3 million mark that was predicted by some. Employers will continue to seek workers with the skills and drive to help their businesses to compete. There is also high demand for temporary and contract staff despite the Agency Worker Regulations coming into force earlier this month.”

The REC also reported a ‘significant’ demand for staff across a variety of sectors and consequently urged the government to try and address a mismatch in skills available together with business needs.

Ideas muted include implementing National Insurance Contribution Holidays for businesses specifically employing young jobseekers, who have suffered severely since the recession with close to 1million 16-24 year olds out of work.

Ways to bridge the gap between teenagers leaving schools and entering the world of work were also deemed as crucial in helping cut unemployment rates amongst the young.