Editor's message: The state of the economy in which an organisation operates will impact on its level of business, and how easy, or otherwise, it is to recruit and retain the staff it needs. HR and reward professionals can keep track of inflation rates, labour market data and other key economic indicators to understand the context in which their organisation is recruiting, retaining and rewarding its employees.
Official statistics from the Office of National Statistics show that, despite slow economic growth, the labour market has held up well and unemployment has fallen. Both CPI and RPI inflation measures show strong price rises, which is finally feeding through into upward pressure on pay awards and earnings.
Sheila Attwood, managing editor, pay and HR practice
Six of the 10 jobs with the highest proportion of hard-to-fill vacancies are in the tech and systems sector.
High levels of employment and a strong interest from overseas investors driven by the fall in sterling's value is contributing to a continuing boom in the UK's recruitment sector.
The creation of a new worker status by courier company Hermes could prove an important step in the evolution of gig economy workers' rights, argues Mike Hibbs from law firm Shakespeare Martineau.
Updated to include data for January 2019 on the availability and recruitment of permanent and temporary staff from IHS Markit/KPMG/Recruitment & Employment Confederation. The next figures are due to be published on 8 March 2019.
Workers in their 30s are still feeling the effect of the financial crisis on their pay packets, with typical pay for this age group still 7% below its pre-crisis peak.
Energy giant Npower, one of the UK's six largest energy providers, has announced plans to cut 900 jobs.
Minimum wage rises may lead to job losses as employers turn to automation to keep costs down. But so far the effects have been limited according to research by the London School of Economics.
More than 110,000 jobs in the UK could be lost if Airbus were to leave the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Updated to include the outlook on the manufacturing industry from the CBI Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, January 2019.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the economy.