UK Unemployment Falls to a new 42 Year Low

Aug 17, 2017

UK unemployment falls to new 42-year low

What does that mean for your business?

Unemployment in the UK fell by 57,000 in the three months to June, official figures show, bringing the jobless rate down to 4.4% - its lowest since 1975.

That effectively means that the pool of available talent is at its lowest ebb for 2 generations – and in the South West the numbers are even tighter. Lloyd Barnes have drilled into the ONS figures released on 16th August and they make worrying reading for hiring managers.



Employment Rate

Unemployment Rate

UK Average



South East



South West




In this survey by ONS the South West is second only to the South East in terms of employment and unemployment; obviously both are significantly better (or worse depending on your perspective) than the national average.

So what does this mean for your business if you are going to be hiring staff in the forthcoming couple of quarters? Well we do not have a crystal ball, but at Lloyd Barnes we do have decades of combined recruitment experience in the team, here is what we think may happen:

  • There may be an upward pressure on salaries as businesses will need to entice staff from other employers.
  • The lack of experience in applicants skills compared to the needs of the role will widen.
  • Companies who speed up their recruitment processes will benefit over those who take longer to make decisions.
  • Highly skilled applicants will attract a premium, and may move into interim/consultancy type roles rather than tradition permanent employment.
  • Company objectives may suffer as a result of inability to hire and retain the talent needed.

So, what should you do if you have a plan to increase headcount?

  • Work fast
  • Pay the market rate
  • Be flexible
  • Make quick decisions (that candidate isn’t being interviewed by just you)
  • Work with Lloyd Barnes to make sure you have access to the widest and deepest candidate database of Accountancy Professionals in the region.


For a copy of the ONS report: