So the latest unemployment figures are out today and show a fall of some 35,000 – down to 2.65m. Clearly this is a good sign for the UK economy, and a rather well needed positive sign in advance of the next economic growth figures. The big question then will be have we narrowly avoided the unmentionable “R” word of two consecutive quarters of negative growth. For a little more background on our take on the economy, see Luke Springthorpe’s economic blog post.
Prospects for those suffering long term unemployment growth in this sector remain poor. I heard on the Today programme in the last couple of days one statistic which suggested those NEATS who were on the governments programme in this group had an increased chance of finding work of just 35%. But all this falls with an interesting allegation in the background as to how the previous government hid the true scale of youth unemployment – for more details see the Press Association’s "Labour 'hid youth unemployment'" article in which it is reported Chris Grayling, the UK Employment Minister, made this allegation against Labour’s use of unemployment figures.
But where does this leave the jobs market in the UK. Well clearly it is not a great time to be out of work – this goes without saying. Well even though we are seeing a positive reduction in unemployment levels, and the first such reduction since last spring. Having said this there is much anecdotal evidence of job seekers experiencing significant difficulty in finding work opportunities or being called to interview. This at the same time as some staggering growth within the online recruitment sector. Organisations such as our own flat fee recruiter Hunt4Staff are experiencing increased demand, as are most if not all of this online job boards.
One of those areas most interesting of all however is the social media space. Many are still debating how significant this will be to the future of recruitment. One clear indication from OnRec is the recent article showing the increase in job applications made via Facebook are up by 1,000 per cent in 2011. If you are not yet generating your own job applicants via online recruitment, now is the time to ask yourself why not.