Responding to the latest labour market data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) comments:
“While this month’s figures are published amid growing concerns over the quality of the information from the Labour Force Survey, the broader data does give us an indication of the overall employment landscape as the end of the year nears. Although vacancies are continuing to fall over the quarter, we do need to consider these statistics against pre-Covid levels, which does show that the recruitment market is still strong.
“The breakdown of the data on the total number of jobs in the UK does paint a very interesting picture. While also down, it is the self-employed levels that have caused the decrease, with employee jobs actually increasing. As those in the contract recruitment market know all too well, the complexities over Off Payroll determinations have continued to impact self-employed jobs. Although the proposed IR35 set-off would ease some of these difficulties, there is still too much confusion in the supply chain and a lack of transparency that will continue to impact the flexible labour market.
“With the Autumn Budget approaching, we hope that the Government focuses its attention on the details of how it plans to strengthen the UK’s permanent and contract skills. We have already submitted our recommendations to best achieve this, including reforming the Apprenticeship Levy to enable it to be used by recruiters and outsource providers to fund the costs of running flexi-apprenticeships for agency workers and the self-employed.”