The number of temporary workers in the UK has fallen to 1.6m according to latest data from the Office of National Statistics. By comparison, temporary workers peaked at 1.7m in 2021, as businesses navigated the pandemic. Today’s figures are a fall of 0.4% compared to the last quarter, and a decrease of 1.4% compared to the same period last year.
The ONS classifies temporary workers as including those who are on fixed-period contracts, temporary agency workers, casual workers, seasonal workers and others in temporary work. The workers surveyed by ONS gave the following reasons for being temporary:
- 28% did not want a permanent job
- 22% could not find a permanent job
- 10% had a contract with a period of training
- 40% had some other reason for being temporary
Our friends over at REC, the professional body for the recruitment sector, commented on today’s latest employment figures, with chief executive Neil Carberry saying:
“While we are coming off the hiring peaks of 2022, we are still seeing shortages in some key sectors such as hotels, restaurants, logistics, manufacturing, engineering, and healthcare. This is a longer-term issue and left unaddressed will drive inflation up. Companies can address shortages in how they choose to hire, working with recruitment professionals to reach new pools of candidates or engage staff in new ways. It is telling that temporary labour remains in demand through this period of economic uncertainty”