Just showing employment figures does not reveal the whole truth about the labour market in the UK. Organisations and industries also need to know workers’ attitudes towards jobs, careers, and future prospects.

The Monster Jobs Confidence Index, published by Monster, together with The Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd, has measured workers’ confidence and feelings about the existing UK labour market.

Findings of the Index

Compared to 77% in the third quarter of 2018, the fourth quarter jobs confidence index has fallen to 67%. However, this figure has been trending upwards during the last ten years.

The last time the index was very weak was in 2009, when the UK and the rest of the world were engulfed in the financial crisis, which led to many job losses and uncertainty about workers’ futures. Even between 2010 and 2013, the recession had a negative impact on the labour market.

Unemployment

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate dropped to 4%, which is the lowest it has been in since December 1974. Employment has, therefore, seen an increase. 75.8% of people aged between 16 and 64 are now in work. 

Jobs vacancies

However, the number of job vacancies appearing in the UK has slowed down. The rate of growth for openings stood at 5% in the last quarter of 2018, compared to 8% for the same period in 2017. It has also been found that around 10.6% of people who work part-time are looking for full-time jobs.

The Index also shows that the East of England enjoys the lowest unemployment rate in the country, while the North East has the highest rate.

Job seekers

Almost 95% of people taking part in the survey said that they were searching for a job. Of those, 18% were confident of finding a job within the next six months, while 27% were very confident that they would find a job to match their skills and abilities.

Conclusion

The Index shows that the labour market in the UK is robust but that the confidence levels of the workers have weakened. It is due to several factors, such as the political conditions in the UK, and the uncertainty brought on by Brexit, which is taking a toll on job security.