The number of temporary employees in the UK decreased by 4.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis to a total of 1.52 million in the three-month period from June to August 2018 when compared to the same period a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Temporary workers are self-identified when surveyed by the ONS, and they include those who are on fixed-period contracts, agency temp workers, casual workers, seasonal workers and others in temporary work.
ONS figures also showed that the unemployment rate stood at 4.0% during the period from June to August 2018. The rate has not been lower since the period from December 1974 to February 1975. Overall, there were 1.36 million unemployed people, 79,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the employment rate was 75.5%, higher than for a year earlier (75.1%). There were 32.39 million people in work, 289,000 more than for a year earlier.
Data from ONS also showed that there were 8.75 million people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), which was 65,000 fewer than a year earlier.
During the same period, the latest estimates from the ONS showed that average weekly earnings for employees in the UK in nominal terms (not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 3.1% excluding bonuses, and by 2.7% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier. Average weekly earnings for employees in the UK in real terms (adjusted for price inflation) increased by 0.7% excluding bonuses, and by 0.4% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.
ONS head of labour market David Freeman, commented, “People’s regular monthly wage packets grew at their strongest rate in almost a decade but, allowing for inflation, the growth was much more subdued.”
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation also commented, “The latest figures emphasise the strong performance of the UK’s flexible jobs market, with wages rising in real terms and near record rates of employment. But there is some evidence that progress has slowed as businesses enter a holding pattern ahead of any Brexit deal.”
“What we need now is for the Government to take a pragmatic approach that delivers a smooth Brexit for the economy – and for people’s jobs. A transition period, and longer-term clarity and stability on terms of trade and mobility between the UK and the EU are essential to avoiding a bumpy landing,” Carberry said.
According to the ONS, in the period from June to August 2018, 89,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews. This was 18,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
Furthermore, ONS data found that there were 832,000 job vacancies for the period from July to September 2018. This was 35,000 more than for a year earlier.