The CIPD’s Labour Market Outlook is a forward-looking indicator of the UK labour market. It is a quarterly survey of 2,000 employers, providing analysis on employers’ recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions combined with unique insights on labour market topics.

The Labour Market Outlook report is released every February, May, August and November. However, the data from it is also included in other reports, blog posts and thought pieces. Its survey insights feed into our consultations with UK Government.

On this page, you’ll find links to key content and communications that use Labour Market Outlook data.

Labour Market Outlook report

Summer 2023 overview

The impact of rising interest rates is hitting mortgage holders hard. Rents are also increasing at what is the busiest time of year for the rental market. Food price rises continue, but so far wage growth has not quite been as high as many would hope.

Many employers have hard-to-fill vacancies, particularly those in the public sector. Others say increases in the National Minimum Wage (NMW)/National Living Wage (NLW) have impacted their wage bill to a large extent. Those facing hard-to-fill vacancies are doing everything from upskilling staff, to raising wages, to tackle them. To retain staff, many employers are even making counteroffers. 

Read on for our latest labour market data and analysis on employers’ recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions this summer.

Labour Market Outlook – Summer 2023

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Key findings

Net employment balance remains stable

The net employment balance – which measures the difference between employers expecting to increase staff levels in the next three months and those expecting to decrease staff levels – remains stable at +28. Net employment intentions remain steady in the private sector at +32. However, they have fallen in the public sector in the most recent quarter, from +16 to +11, and have risen in the voluntary sector (from +22 to +34).

Redundancy intentions rising in the public sector

Two in five of employers (42%) have hard-to-fill vacancies. These are most prevalent among employers in education (60%) and healthcare (55%). Both industries anticipate significant problems filling their hard-to-fill vacancies in the next six months (42% and 44%).

Employers with low-wage staff hit hard by NMW increase

One in five employers (18%) believe increases in the National Minimum Wage (NMW)/National Living Wage (NLW) have impacted their wage bill to a large extent. This impact is particularly pertinent in the hospitality sector, where 43% of employers are feeling the pinch, possibly due to the number of lower-paid workers they employ.

Expected pay rises in public sector hit new peak

The median expected basic pay increase remains at 5% for the third consecutive quarter. The figure for the public sector has risen from 3.3% last quarter, to 4% this quarter – the highest in the LMO time series (since 2012).

Counteroffers more common in past 12 months

Forty per cent of employers have made a counteroffer in the past 12 months. Among them, half (51%) have delivered more counteroffers than before, with 40% offering the same level and 9% offering less than before.

Counteroffers often exceed value of existing offer

Among employers giving counteroffers, 40% offer a higher salary, 38% salary match, and 9% offer a salary below the offer.

Related content

Our Labour Market Outlook survey findings play an important role in shaping our content and communications on a wide range of topics and focus areas at the CIPD. Our survey findings achieve this by providing labour market insights that support broader discussions on topics including immigration, labour supply, financial wellbeing, and flexible working.

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