LABOUR MARKET OUTLOOK VIEWS FROM EMPLOYERS

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1 LABOUR MARKET OUTLOOK VIEWS FROM EMPLOYERS Spring 215

2 The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. The not-for-profit organisation champions better work and working lives and has been setting the benchmark for excellence in people and organisation development for more than 1 years. It has more than 135, members across the world, provides thought leadership through independent research on the world of work, and offers professional training and accreditation for those working in HR and learning and development.

3 Labour Market Outlook Spring 215 Contents Foreword 2 1 Recruitment and redundancy outlook 3 2 Pay outlook 9 Sample and method 17 References 2 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 1

4 Foreword The quarterly CIPD Labour Market Outlook (LMO) provides a set of forward-looking labour market indicators, highlighting employers recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions. The survey is based on responses from 1,13 employers, many of whom are drawn from the CIPD s membership of more than 1, professionals. The latest report shows that nearterm employment prospects remain buoyant. This quarter s net employment balance which measures the difference between the proportion of employers who expect to increase staff levels and those who expect to decrease staff levels in the second quarter of 215 has increased to +25 from +24 since the winter 214/15 report (Figure 1). Private sector firms continue to be driving much of the predicted growth in employment prospects (+37). At the same time, employment confidence in the manufacturing and production sector has increased to +51 from +28. However, consistent with the most recent official GDP figures, which showed a slowing in the rate of growth in the service sector, employment confidence in the services sector has fallen to +31 from +38 since the LMO winter 214/15 report. Indeed, the recent fall in economic growth and the continued subdued productivity growth may partly explain why wage settlement expectations have fallen over the past three months. The median basic pay award in the 12 months to March 216 decreased from 2% to 1.8%. This modest fall is also consistent with other survey indicators (EEF, Xpert HR) and the most recent official statistics, which showed that basic pay rose by 1.8% in the three months to February 215 compared with a year earlier. Public sector organisations predictions of median pay increases of 1% will continue to lag behind those in the private (2%) and voluntary sectors (1.4%). On the upside, half of employers predict awarding basic pay increases of 2% or more in the 12 months to March 216. Evidence from this report suggests that affordability, which is inextricably linked to productivity growth, and pay restraint in the public sector are the two main reasons why pay remains weak. In addition, around a quarter of private sector employers who say they cannot meet the Bank of England s inflation rate target of 2% cite no recruitment and retention pressures. This suggests that while some employers may be experiencing labour or skill shortages that are reported in other surveys, other employers have some degree of labour market slack. This tale of two workforces is also reflected in the distribution of pay awards. More than a third of organisations froze basic pay in the 12 months to March 215, while a slightly higher proportion (41%) gave a basic pay award of 2% or more. Overall, in a continuation of recent trends, the data suggest that the labour market will continue to strengthen in the second quarter of 215, but with more modest wage growth than three months ago. 2 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

5 Labour Market Outlook Spring Recruitment and redundancy outlook What is the short-term employment outlook? This section focuses on the recruitment and redundancy intentions of LMO employers in the second quarter of 215. The latest report suggests that employment confidence will remain strong over the next three months, although confidence is lower than the high recorded six months ago for the fourth quarter of 214. This quarter s net employment balance which measures the difference between the proportion of employers who expect to increase staff levels and those who expect to decrease staff levels is +25. This is broadly consistent with the winter (+24) and the autumn 214 (+) reports (Figure 1). Meanwhile, public sector employers expect a more modest employment contraction in Q2 compared with Q1. Employment expectations in the public sector have risen to 12 from 21 over the past three months. The proportion of public sector employers that plan to reduce their workforce in Q2 215 has fallen to 31% from 38%. Consistent with previous reports, employment intentions are lowest among public administration and defence organisations ( 23) (Table 1). Overall, employment growth will be more buoyant in the south (+32) compared with the north (+16) of England. 1 Additionally, SME employers (+45) are more positive about their employment prospects than larger employers (+17). Southern England +32 Northern England +16 Employment growth will be more buoyant in the south (+32) compared with the north (+16) of England. Private sector firms continue to be driving much of the predicted growth in employment prospects (+37) in Q2, with over half (+51) planning to increase their workforce during the same period. In a reversal of recent trends, employment confidence has risen to +51 from +28 in the manufacturing and production sector compared with the previous report. At the same time, employment growth in the private services sector has decreased to +31 from +38 during the same period. This is broadly consistent with the most recent ONS GDP figures, which showed that growth in the services sector fell from.9% to.5% in Q Sample sizes are too small for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 3

6 How to interpret Figure 1 Figure 1 displays the LMO net employment indicator time series data since spring 29 (the black line). Alongside this is the comparator net employment outlook score from the Manpower Employment Outlook (the red line). The columns display the trends in official ONS employment levels. The LMO net employment outlook is a forward-looking indicator of how employers feel employment levels will change over the next three months. The corresponding ONS unemployment and employment level is added to replicate this timeframe and show what actually happened to unemployment and employment levels over the same time period. Therefore, the ONS data for April to June will be added alongside the data in the next report to show how unemployment and employment levels will have changed in line with the LMO net employment forecast made in this wave. Figure 1 Correlation between LFS employment levels and LMO data 2 (%) Millions Number of people employed Manpower EO CIPD LMO net % points Spring 9 Autumn 9 Spring 1 Autumn 1 Spring 11 Autumn 11 Spring 12 Autumn 12 Spring 13 Autumn 13 Spring 14 Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers likely to recruit or make redundancies in the next quarter (n=728) 2 Labour Force Survey data taken at quarterly intervals based on GB population aged 16+. Spring (February April), summer (May July), autumn (September November), winter (November January). 4 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

7 Labour Market Outlook Spring 215 Figure 2 Overall effect of recruiting new staff and/or making redundancies, next three months by sector (%) net % points Public sector Private sector Voluntary sector Overall net Spring 9 Autumn 9 Spring 1 Autumn 1 Spring 11 Autumn 11 Spring 12 Autumn 12 Spring 13 Autumn 13 Spring 14 Base: Spring 215, all likely to recruit or make redundancies in the next quarter (overall n=728, private sector n=436, public sector n=25, voluntary sector n=87) Table 1: Net employment intentions for the next three months, by sector Sector Spring 215 Winter % point change Private sector services (n=321) Manufacturing and production (n=92) Education (n=12) Public administration and defence (n=84) Base: Spring 215, all likely to recruit or make redundancies in the next quarter cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 5

8 Plan to increase workforce 43% Plan to maintain or decrease workforce 18% The proportion of employers planning to increase the size of their workforce this quarter (43%) is the same as in the winter report. At the same time, the share of organisations that are planning to maintain or decrease staff levels has fallen to (18%) from 2% over the past three months. Figure 3 LMO employers intentions to increase, decrease or maintain staffing levels (%) % Maintain staff levels Increase staff levels Decrease staff levels Spring 9 Autumn 9 Spring 1 Autumn 1 Spring 11 Autumn 11 Spring 12 Autumn 12 Spring 13 Autumn 13 Spring 14 Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers likely to recruit or make redundancies in the next quarter (n=728) 6 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

9 Labour Market Outlook Spring 215 What are the recruitment intentions for the forthcoming quarter? Recruitment intentions among LMO employers have increased modestly since the previous report. The proportion of organisations planning to hire staff in Q2 215 has increased to 71% from 65% compared with the previous report (Figure 4). The increase is largely driven by public sector employers, with the proportion planning to recruit employees growing to 79% from 65% since the winter report. Figure 4 Recruitment intentions, by sector (%) % Public sector Private sector Voluntary sector Overall net Spring 9 Autumn 9 Spring 1 Autumn 1 Spring 11 Autumn 11 Spring 12 Autumn 12 Spring 13 Autumn 13 Spring 14 Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers (n=1,13), public (n=249), private (n=654), voluntary (n=11) Table 2: Recruitment intentions, by sector (%) Sector Spring 215 Winter % point change Education (n=133) Public administration and defence (n=96) Private sector services (n=473) Manufacturing and production (n=143) Healthcare (n=87) Base: Spring 215 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 7

10 What is the outlook for redundancies in the second quarter of 214? The proportion of LMO employers expecting to make redundancies in Q2 of 215 is broadly consistent with previous recent LMO reports. Overall, almost one in four (24%) are planning to make redundancies the next three months (Figure 5). The proportion of organisations expecting to make redundancies is lower in the private sector (22%) than in the public sector (%). However, the proportion of public sector employers planning to make redundancies in the next quarter is at a five-year low. As in previous reports, redundancy intentions for Q2 215 in the public sector are highest among public administration and defence employers, with nearly half (48%) planning to make redundancies. Employers in the services sector have reported increased redundancy intentions, with the proportion rising to 25% from 18% over the past three months. This is consistent with the overall fall in employment intentions in the services sector (Table 1). Meanwhile, redundancy intentions in the next three months are significantly higher in large organisations (34%) than among SMEs (1%). Figure 5 Redundancy intentions, by sector (%) % Public sector Private sector Voluntary sector Overall net Spring 9 Autumn 9 Spring 1 Autumn 1 Spring 11 Autumn 11 Spring 12 Autumn 12 Spring 13 Autumn 13 Spring 14 Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers (n=1,13), public (n=249), private (n=654), voluntary (n=11) Table 3: Redundancy intentions, by sector (%) Sector Spring 215 Winter % point change Public administration and defence (n=96) Education (n=133) Private sector services (n=473) Healthcare (n=87) Manufacturing and production (n=143) Base: Spring cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

11 Labour Market Outlook Spring Pay outlook What is likely to happen to wage inflation in the next 12 months? Excluding bonuses, the expected median basic pay settlement among those LMO employers planning a pay review in the 12 months to March 216 has fallen modestly to 1.8% from 2% during the previous three months. Consistent with findings from the winter report, median pay increase expectations are higher in the private sector (2%) than in the public (1%) and voluntary (1.4%) sectors. In addition, the average basic pay settlement excluding bonuses, the report s less preferred measure, has also fallen to 1.8% from 2% since the winter report. The modest falls are consistent with other survey indicators (XpertHR, EEF). When we compare the current average pay forecasts with the LMO pre-recession average, we see that the average pay increase remains well below the pre-recession levels. In spring 28, the average (mean) pay increase forecast was 3.6%. Figure 6 Average predicted annual basic pay awards (median), by sector (%) % 5 4 Public sector Private sector Voluntary sector Overall net Spring 12 Summer 12 Autumn 12 Winter Spring 13 Summer 13 Autumn 13 Winter Spring 14 Summer 14 Winter Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers planning to have a pay review before March 216 (all n=455, public n=146, private n=262, voluntary n=47) cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 9

12 Nearly half of employers (45%) who are planning to make a pay decision in the next 12 months expect basic pay to increase at their organisation, compared with roughly one in ten who intend to freeze pay (9%). These figures are unchanged from the winter report. However, it should be noted that an equal proportion (45%) of employers report that they do not know how their organisation s basic pay will be affected with the next pay decision, or that it is too hard to tell and will depend on their organisational performance. This is more prevalent in the private sector (49%) than in the public sector (32%). LMO employers in the public sector remain significantly more likely than those in the private sector to report that their organisation will have a pay freeze with 18% in the public sector reporting this compared with 6% in the private sector. Figure 7 Likelihood of a basic pay increase, decrease or freeze, by sector (%) % 1 Public sector Private sector Voluntary sector Summer 14 Winter Summer 14 Winter Summer 14 Winter Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers who are not postponing a pay settlement (public n=211, private n=546, voluntary n=93) Hard to tell; it will depend on our organisation performance/don t know Increase We will have a pay freeze Decrease 1 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

13 Labour Market Outlook Spring 215 The distribution of pay awards is relatively evenly spread. Around a third of organisations (34%) expect an increase of %, whereas a similar proportion (%) expect an increase of %. In addition, one in five (2%) expect a pay increase of 3% or more, while a similar proportion expect a pay freeze (16%). Figure 8 Distribution of forward-looking pay settlements (%) % Pay freeze Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers who predict either an increase, decrease or freeze in average basic pay (n=455) cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 11

14 What are the reasons for predicted pay changes? Employers who report that their average basic pay award will rise by 2% or more say inflation or the cost of living (51%) is the main driver. Other popular reasons include the organisation s ability to pay more (36%) and following the market rate (33%). LMO employers are much less likely to attribute an increase in average basic pay of 2% or more to the ripple effect of higher starting salaries (9%) or falling labour costs (4%). To help understand the modest wage growth rates over the recent past, the LMO also asked employers why they cannot match the inflation rate target of 2%. Pay restraint in the public sector (41%) is the main reason why around a quarter of employers say that they cannot meet the target. Meanwhile, around a third (32%) of employers report that average basic pay will fall below 2% because the organisation cannot afford to pay more. Other popular reasons commonly cited by private sector employers include no recruitment or retention costs (25%), other labour costs (21%), the increase in the National Minimum Wage (2% and the low rate of inflation (15%). When asked this quarter how much they expect their organisation s average total pay per employee to change as a result of the next pay decision, just over one third (35%) report that they expect it to increase. In addition, 2% expect it to decrease Figure 9 Causes for increase in average basic pay by 2% or more (%) Inflation/cost of living 51 Organisation s ability to pay more Movement in market rates/the going rate of pay rises elsewhere Recruitment and retention issues 21 National minimum wage/living wage Pay catch-up, following modest pay increases, freezes or cuts in recent years Improved employee productivity and performance Union/staff pressures The ripple effect of higher starting salaries Falling labour costs, for example National Insurance, occupational pension Other Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers who think that average basic pay will increase by 2% or more (n=21) 12 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

15 Labour Market Outlook Spring 215 Figure 1 Factors restricting organisations ability to match the inflation rate target of 2% (%) Restraint on public sector pay 41 Organisation s inability to pay more 32 We have no recruitment and retention issues Other labour costs (eg National Insurance contributions, pension contributions) The low rate of inflation/the cost of living Increase in National Minimum Wage in October Movement in market rates/the going rate of pay rises elsewhere Other To absorb the cost of the introduction of auto-enrolment pensions scheme 8 Poor employee productivity and performance 7 The ripple effect of lower starting salaries 4 Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers who think that average basic pay will increase by less than 2% (n=245) Figure 11 Factors restricting organisations ability to match the inflation rate target of 2% private sector only (%) Organisation s inability to pay more 35 We have no recruitment and retention issues Other labour costs (eg National Insurance contributions, pension contributions) Increase in National Minimum Wage in October Movement in market rates/the going rate of pay rises elsewhere The low rate of inflation/the cost of living in our area Poor employee productivity and performance To absorb the cost of the introduction of auto-enrolment pensions scheme 12 Other The ripple effect of lower starting salaries 8 9 Restraints on public sector pay 4 Base: Spring 215, all private sector LMO employers who think that average basic pay will increase by less than 2% (n=89) cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 13

16 while 8% predict a pay freeze. Meanwhile, almost a fifth of public sector employers (17%) expect to freeze total pay in the 12 months to March 216. Consistent with forecasts for future basic pay, uncertainty about average total pay change is most prevalent among private sector employers (59%). Overall, the median total pay growth forecast is 2%. How has basic pay changed as a result of pay reviews over the past 12 months? Seven in ten employers (7%) report that their organisation has conducted a pay review during the past 12 months, which is consistent with the Figure 12 Likelihood of a total pay increase, decrease or pay freeze, by business sector (%) % 1 Public sector Private sector Voluntary sector Winter Winter Winter Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers who are not postponing a pay settlement (public n=211, private n=546, voluntary n=93) Hard to tell; it will depend on our organisation performance/don t know Increase We will have a pay freeze Decrease 14 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

17 Labour Market Outlook Spring 215 figure reported in winter (7%). Meanwhile, one quarter (25%) report not carrying out a pay review and 3% are unsure. Roughly half (53%) of employers whose organisations did not conduct a pay review report that this is in effect a pay freeze. Among those organisations who have conducted a pay review in the past 12 months, seven out of ten (69%) employers state that basic pay has increased as a result, while almost one in five (18%) report a pay freeze. Of those LMO employers who reported that average pay increased as a result of a pay review, the median increase was 2%. When we factor in those LMO employers who reported that average basic pay had decreased or that pay was frozen, the median basic pay increase Figure 13 Pay change as a result of pay reviews over the past 12 months (%) % 1 9 Public sector Private sector Voluntary sector OVERALL NET Winter Winter Winter Winter Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers who are not postponing a pay settlement (public n=211, private n=546, voluntary n=93) Don t know Increase We had a pay freeze Decrease cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 15

18 among those organisations who had carried out basic pay awards is 1.5%. This represents a small increase since winter , when the median basic pay increase was 1.3%. Consistent with other findings, the median basic pay increase was higher in the private sector (2%) than in the public sector (1%). Consistent with previous reports, the pay distribution awards reveal a relatively high proportion of employers that either awarded a pay increase of 2% or more or froze pay. On the one hand, just over a third of employers (34%) say that they froze pay in the 12 months to March 215 (Figure 14). At the same time, around two fifths of employers (41%) awarded a pay increase of 2% or more. Almost a quarter (23%) gave an increase of %. Figure 14 Distribution of backward-looking pay settlements (%) % Pay freeze Base: Spring 215, all LMO employers who report a change in average basic pay, including those who had a pay freeze (n=766) 16 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

19 Labour Market Outlook Spring 215 Sample and method Respondent profile Table 4: Breakdown of the sample, by sector (%) Sector Spring 215 Winter Autumn 214 Summer 214 Spring 214 Winter Private Public Voluntary N 1,13 1,3 1,89 1,26 1, Table 5: Breakdown of the sample, by number of employees in organisation (%) Spring 215 Winter Autumn 214 Summer 214 Spring 214 Winter , 4, , 9, , 19, , or more N 1,13 1,3 1,89 1,26 1, cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 17

20 Table 6: Breakdown of the sample, by industry (%) Spring 215 Winter Autumn 214 Summer 214 Spring 214 MANUFACTURING AND PRODUCTION Agriculture, forestry and fishing Manufacturing Construction Mining and extraction Energy and water supply EDUCATION Primary and secondary schools Further and higher education HEALTHCARE NHS Other private healthcare PRIVATE SECTOR SERVICES Hotels, catering and leisure IT industry Transport and storage Consultancy services Finance, insurance and real estate Wholesale and retail trade Other business services Information and communication Retail Professional, scientific and technical Admin and support service activities PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND DEFENCE Public administration central government Public administration local government, including fire services Winter Armed forces Quango 18 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

21 Labour Market Outlook Spring 215 Survey method The fieldwork for the LMO survey is managed by YouGov Plc. This survey has been conducted using the bespoke YouGov online system administered to members of the YouGov Plc GB panel who have agreed to take part in surveys and the CIPD membership. The survey is based on responses from more than 1,13 HR professionals and employers. All respondents have HR responsibility within their organisation, which may or may not be their sole and primary function within their organisation. The sample is targeted to senior business leaders of senior officer level and above. An was sent to each respondent from the YouGov sample, who are selected at random from the base sample according to the sample definition, inviting them to take part in the survey and providing a link to the survey. Each member of the CIPD sample is invited to complete the survey. Respondents are given three weeks to reply and reminder s are sent to boost response rates (subject to the CIPD s recontact policy). Weighting The quarterly LMO survey is sampled from the CIPD membership and through the YouGov panel of HR professionals. The data is weighted to be representative of the UK public and private sector business population by size of employer and sector. Rim weighting is applied using targets on size and sector drawn from Business Population Estimates for the UK and Regions 212. The delivered sample is drawn from across all business sizes and, in total, 556 unweighted responses were received from small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) and 447 from HR professionals within large employers (25+ employees). A very small number of HR consultants (6) took part in the survey. cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook 19

22 References EEF. (215) Pay bulletin. March. EEF. media-news-and-insights/mediareleases/215/feb/manufacturingpay-growth-steady-as-inflationcontinues-to-fall Xpert HR. (215) Pay trends. March. Sutton: Reed Business Information. 2 cipd.co.uk/labourmarketoutlook

23 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 151 The Broadway London SW19 1JQ United Kingdom T +44 () F +44 () E W cipd.co.uk Incorporated by Royal Charter Registered as a charity in England and Wales (179797) and Scotland (SC45154) Issued: May 215 Reference: 6994 CIPD 215

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