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UK pay rises at record rate, but unemployment is climbing too – CMD Recruitment

Wages are rising at a record rate despite rising unemployment, according to figures released this week.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed that pay packets in the three months to July were 8.5 per cent higher than those for the same period last year.

Private sector pay rose by 7.6 per cent while public sector pay increased by 12.2 per cent – buoyed by one-off payments to NHS staff and civil servants – making the largest rise since modern records began in 2001, said the ONS.

But over the same three-month period, unemployment rose by 159,000, the unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percentage points to 4.3 per cent, employment dropped by 207,000, and the number of job vacancies dipped below the one million level for the first time in two years.

Meanwhile, long-term staff sickness was shown to be on the rise – with one in four employers seeing an increase in staff being off sick compared to a year ago.

Those figures came from arbitration service Acas, which found that 26 per cent of employers had seen an increase in employees on long-term sick, and only one in ten had seen a decrease.

Providing a local view of the recruitment market Dan Barfoot, operations manager at Melksham-based CMD Recruitment, which has offices in Devizes, Calne, Bath, and Swindon, said: “Over the summer we saw a lull in people applying for roles, as no doubt having a well-earned break.

“This went hand in hand with a drop in the number of vacancies, but with uncertainty in the market I cannot see this changing anytime soon.

“I think employers are also frustrated by candidates mass applying for roles, and then trying to negotiate terms upon offer stage, meaning some roles have to go through a recruitment cycle wasting time and money.

“The market will remain competitive, and it’s about being the first option people look at and that is why using CMD means we can ensure we highlight new candidates in the market to your offering giving you a better chance of securing best talent first time.”

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