Demand for staff remains high but pay only creeps up – REC

Today’s labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), based on data from November 2017 – January 2018, show that the number of people in employment is rising, while vacancies remain high. However, real wage growth is still falling, despite wages creeping up. Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) director of policy Tom Hadley comments:

“The number of people in employment continues to rise, showing business is performing well. However, the number of vacancies holds close to a record high, showing employers need even more workers to fill roles. There are plenty of jobs out there for candidates with high in-demand skills, which could be anyone from drivers to nurses to baristas. Employers have to compete with each other to attract those people and our data shows that one way they are making themselves more attractive is by offering higher starting pay.

“Although inflation remains above pay growth, the positive news is the gap looks to be closing. Employers should think about what else they can offer staff in terms of training and benefits too. In many sectors, employers are facing a staffing crisis. It’s a smart move to incentivise your current staff to stay with you at a time when they could be getting competitive pay offers elsewhere.”


Notes to editors:

1. For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2192 or An ISDN line is available for interviews on 0207 021 0584.

2. There were 32.25 million people in work in November 2017 – January 2018, 402,000 more than for a year earlier.

Average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses) increased by 2.6%. However, in real terms (adjusted for price inflation) they fell by 0.2%.

There were 816,000 job vacancies in December 2017 – February 2018, 56,000 more than for a year earlier.

The full ONS statistical release is available at:

3. Jobs transform lives, which is why we are building the best recruitment industry in the world. As the professional body for recruitment we’re determined to make businesses more successful by helping them secure the people they need. We are absolutely passionate and totally committed in this pursuit for recruiters, employers, and the people they hire. Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at