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According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), employment levels dipped by 67,000 in the three months to May, representing an employment rate of 73.3% and the first quarterly fall since February to April 2013.

However, in comparison to the same period last year, there are 265,000 more people in work - 272,000 more people in full time roles and 7,000 fewer people working part-time. Average pay including bonuses was also up by 3.2% on an annual basis.

In response to the latest figures, Ann Swain Chief Executive at APSCo comments;

“Behind the headline figures that employment levels have fallen quarterly for the first time in over two years, it is worth remembering that, as a percentage, the employment rate is down by just 0.1%. A significant year-on-year increase in the number of people in work, particularly full time roles, is more representative of what the recruitment profession has witnessed of late: greater market stability and confidence in hiring. I’m quietly confident that this quarter-on-quarter dip is not indicative of a future downward trajectory.”

Ann Swain continues;

“The fact that wages have risen annually is a sure sign that market confidence is soaring. Organisations are scrambling to get their hands on the brightest talent, and only those that can offer attractive remuneration packages stand a fighting chance. The CBI’s latest growth indicator found that economic expansion in the three months to May reached its strongest rate since the same month last year, and as companies reach their saturation point in terms of output, they will face a choice between bringing on board more talent, or stunting their own growth prospects.”

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Notes to editors:

APSCo is the membership body that is dedicated to representing professional recruitment in the UK. It was formed to give all firms involved in the recruitment of professional talent who have a commitment to excellence, the specialist support and distinctive voice they need to be successful. It gives candidates and employers a trusted badge of quality whilst providing member firms with an innovative range of services designed for them by recruitment experts. These services, combined with its growing international profile, commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and opportunities for professional networking give APSCo members a unique opportunity to develop their businesses and gain competitive advantage (

Professional Recruitment Trends is the only monthly publication providing original data and analysis on the professional staffing market. It is produced jointly by APSCo and Staffing Industry Analysts.

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