Rising employment figures mask another problem, says KPMG

Rising employment figures mask another problem

KPMG's Bernard Brown reacts to the latest UK employment figures, which have seen unemployment levels fall to 6.5%.

Also on KPMG.com

Reacting to the publication, today, of the latest UK employment figures, which have seen unemployment levels fall to 6.5%, Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services, at KPMG, says:

“With the number of people in work continuing to climb, most people would be forgiven for thinking that the economy can only move in one direction. The natural assumption is, after all, that more jobs equals more confidence equals more growth.

“Yet one question that remains unanswered revolves around why job opportunities are unevenly spread. For all the talk of spare capacity in the labour market, it does seem that opportunities don’t necessarily exist in the right places. Labour mobility is also clearly an issue, meaning that both employers and Government will have to work hard to be enablers, as well as better payers.

“Employers will struggle find staff with the right skills, simply by splashing cash and offering higher salaries. Only last week, our own Report on Jobs suggested that starting salaries have reached a 17 year high – but it suggested that job vacancies are not being filled because staff want their remuneration to be about more than take home pay. With rising house prices, low interest rates and, now, higher inflation, many want a deal which offers tangible benefits so they stretch their income as far as possible. Until they do, the jobs figures will look good – but not as good as they could.”


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Ann Burton, KPMG Press Office

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About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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