IoD: Challenging conditions ‘starting to take shine off jobs boom’

Responding to latest official labour market figures, showing the unemployment rate increased to 3.9%, Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Challenging economic conditions are starting to take the shine off the UK’s job boom.

“Business leaders’ long-lasting drive to expand their workforce has put the labour market in a strong position. However, firms are now increasingly coming up against uncertainty and the shrinking supply of available talent. Unable to fill positions, many companies are beginning to take down vacancy postings. With projects and product launches also contingent on a unpredictable economy, businesses are toning down recruitment plans for 2020.

“After a promising pick-up, wage growth also appears to be cooling off slightly. With higher costs, low productivity, and cloudy cashflow forecasts on the menu for SMEs, many are reaching the heights of what they can viably offer workers.

“Hiring activity will likely continue to slow in the months ahead. With the Budget slated for November, the Government has an opportune moment to maintain strength in the labour market by investing in the UK’s skills system and supporting business productivity.”