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Gig economy boosts UK employment rate despite Brexit summer lull

Written by the Editorial Team

from SKY News

Jobseekers looking to move into a new role face a slim array of options but the consultancy sector soars, according to a report.

Job vacancies fell last month as the impact of the EU referendum sparked a pause in hiring among businesses, according to a new report.

The post-Brexit summer of uncertainty is one reason for the lull, research by jobs site Adzuna has found.

It said jobseekers looking to move roles had fewer options to choose from in August, as advertised vacancies fell by 31,000 to 1.1 million for the month, a drop of 2.7% from July.

The number of jobseekers per vacancy remains at a consistent level of 0.49, showing that competition for jobs has seen no major fluctuations despite Brexit concerns.

The jobs market is proving resilient in the face of uncertainty however, with overall hiring increasing by 0.6% compared with six months ago.

“Hiring has certainly not ground to a halt as many predicted after Brexit. This is a seasonal suspension, not a long-term lull,” said co-founder of Adzuna, Doug Monro.

“Skilled workers in shortage areas like tech and engineering are hot property,” he added.

The consultancy sector is bucking the trend. It has shown a strong performance with average advertised vacancies up 5% month-on-month and 10% compared to the same period last year.

Average consultancy salaries have also increased by 8.9% year-on-year.

Other sectors showing year-on-year salary growth include maintenance (up 12.1%), property (up 7.9%), PR (up 4%) and IT (up 2%).

Despite the number of vacancies falling, the employment rate is at its highest level since records began in 1971, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This has in part been propped up by the growing gig economy and a rise in self-employment as jobseekers look for alternative means of income.

A surge in millennials starting their own businesses amidst the growing entrepreneurial environment has helped drive the rise.

UK businesses have topped 2.1 million for the first time, up 4% on last year, as the startup economy continues to thrive, according to the national accountancy group, UHY Hacker Young.

“The recession showed that working for big business is no longer a guarantee of job security,” said Marc Waterman, a partner at UHY Hacker Young.

“In the past, many would-be entrepreneurs might have thought that starting their own business was too risky, opting for the security of a full-time job. This is no longer the case,” he said.

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