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It was announced in December that October 2014 was the first time since June 2008 that both ‘total pay’ (including bonuses) and ‘earnings excluding bonuses’ have been above inflation – 1.4% and 1.6% respectively, compared to October’s official inflation rate of 1.3%.
George Osborne described this as a “major moment in the British recovery”, adding “not only do we have jobs being created and unemployment falling, but wages are now rising significantly above inflation.”
The British economy continues to create thousands of full-time jobs and wages are rising faster than prices. With the significant drop in the price of oil, and with dramatic energy price hikes absent, many economists are predicting that inflation will drop to 0.5% over the coming months.
Further good news can be seen by looking at the ‘unemployment rate’, This fell to 6% between August and October, down from 6.2% in the previous quarter. More than a hundred thousand jobs were created in the quarter to October, pushing up the total number in employment to another record high of 30.8m.
Speaking to The Telegraph, John Philpott, Director of the Job Economist said: “These latest UK labour market figures at last point toward the kind of jobs recovery most likely to begin to put some oomph into pay as well as employment.”
“The entire quarterly net rise in employment consists of full-time jobs for employees, with the number of self-employed people and part-timers falling. The good news also looks set to continue with the level of job vacancies now just 6,000 lower than the pre-recession peak.”
For the full Telegraph article please click here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11298387/Pay-growth-strengthens-as-job-rich-recovery-continues.html
BCL Legal – opinion
Focused on in-house legal recruitment in the South-East, I have an interesting view of the jobs market and its impact on pay and benefits. Like all statistics the above information does not necessarily tell the whole story and it is a fact that I am still hearing of companies that are not hiring or are not increasing wages.
However, on the whole the general consensus is that things are improving and 2014 has been a strong year for legal recruitment and for wage growth in the sector. I do caveat this slightly, as the amount of wage growth or recruitment has a lot to do with your legal specialism, your employer’s industry sector, size and current wage structure.
In the world of in-house legal, wage growth and recruitment has been heavily focused in the TMT sector. Successful and cash rich, and with lots of new entrants into the market, TMT companies have pushed up demand for commercial and technology lawyers, particularly in the South-East. This has created new opportunities for individuals to move employer, gain promotion and see real wages increases that far outstrip inflation.
If you are a commercial and technology solicitor with circa 2-8 years’ PQE, now is a great time to capitalise on the improving jobs market. Your skills are in demand and the in-house legal sector is growing all the time. There are very genuine career prospects on offer and, for some – mainly those already in-house – there are sizeable gains in terms of pay and benefits.
Of course, it’s not just the TMT sector that is buoyant. BCL Legal has been working extensively with clients in every sector, helping to recruit in-house legal staff at all levels. From engineering to energy, and from finance to facilities management, companies are bolstering their in-house legal teams. There has never been a better time to move in-house.