21st May 2024

The big picture shows that despite the labour market reverting to somewhat of a post-COVID normality, there continues to be a high level of vacancies by historic standards. 
Expected pay awards for the next 12 months remain unchanged on the last quarter.   The gap between public and private pay awards persists. Currently, the rate of inflation, which has fallen to a healthier 3.2%, sits between these two figures. This discrepancy means it may become more difficult to retain public sector staff in the coming months. 

Employers expecting to increase staff levels in the next three months and those expecting to decrease staff levels remain positive but has continued a 4% downward path from last quarter to this quarter. Over half (55%) of employers are looking to maintain their current staff level. This is the highest proportion since winter 2016/17. Public sector employers are twice as likely as their private sector counterparts to decrease their total staff level in the next three months (19% v 9%). 

The median expected basic pay increase remains at 4% for the second consecutive quarter. Expected pay awards in the next 12 months are lower in the public sector (3%) compared with the private sector (4%). Thirty-seven percent of employers surveyed have hard-to-fill vacancies. Hard-to-fill vacancies are significantly higher in the public sector (52%) than in the private sector (33%). Source: CIPD

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