A recent report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) says that the UK unemployment rate is at a 45-year low, helped by there being a record number of women in full-time employment.
The report says that in the three months up to November 2019, 126,000 more women were working full-time in comparison to the previous quarter. It is believed that the increase is due in part to the rise in women’s retirement age. It continues a trend that has been rising over the past 40 years, according the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Older and female
The retirement age influence seems to be demonstrated by the fact that statistics show there are more people aged over 55 working. However, there is still the ongoing issue with the gender pay gap. This is probably exacerbated by the fact the the majority of roles in the UK are service-related. This covers all industries that don’t manufacture, encompassing everything from banking to working in hotels and restaurants, which are traditionally lower paid.
More flexibility in the workforce
In addition, there are more people working on zero-hour contracts and doing temporary work. Despite all the controversy about zero-hour contracts, there is clearly still a place for them to allow for the additional flexibility demanded by those caring for both older and younger people. Technology is also changing the face of work. For example, many traditional home typing jobs, such as converting PDF to Excel, are now automated. More information can be found at sites such as convert pdf to excel with Pdftables.
The number of self-employed people is also continuing to increase, with the figure at over 5 million for the first time. Although some self-employed people run successful businesses, this figure also includes those who work from home, whether full or part-time, in lower-paid roles. Although there is much automation in this area, such as conversion from PDF to Excel, there is still a demand for copy typing.
Although the picture is positive overall, there has been a decline in job vacancies since early 2019, a trend that appears to be continuing, so there is no room for complacency. It still looks as though we are heading towards the economic downturn, which many have predicted since the UK voted to leave the EU.