New trends revealed in the UK labour market

  • Business Advice
New trends revealed in the UK labour market
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) asked its new Microeconomics Unit to examine trends in the UK labour market, focusing on the impact of competition and employer market power.

The aim was to provide insight and evidence to inform not only the CMA’s work but also wider government and policy thinking.

One of the key areas of research was labour market concentration which measures how many employers operate in a particular market — the fewer firms, the more concentrated it is, providing an indicator of labour market power. The CMA considered labour market concentration in the UK over a 20-year period finding that levels remained roughly constant, despite fluctuations over time.

The report shows that labour markets outside of London and the southeast are more concentrated, in that there are more employers per person in these two areas.

Blue-collar professions such as care workers and tradespeople have seen concentration in their sectors fall, while concentration has remained steady for white-collar workers, including managerial staff and IT professionals.

Looking at non-compete agreements, which stop employees from working at a competitor firm for a set amount of time after their employment ends, the research found that they impact around 30% of workers — increasing to over 40% in ICT and professional and scientific services.

The report finds that non-compete restrictions are prevalent across the UK economy, even in sectors where one would not expect firms to need to protect their intellectual property; for example, in retail, education, and food services around 20% of workers have non-compete clauses in their contracts.

Turning to hybrid working, the CMA said that, since the pandemic, the number of jobs offering remote and hybrid working has increased significantly and stabilised at around 20% of UK roles.

Chief Executive, Sarah Cardell, said: “This report adds to the robust body of evidence to support the benefits of well-functioning labour markets, widely recognised as an important driver of economic growth. Where labour markets work well, workers are able to access the right jobs for them, and firms can find the workers they need in the easiest, most efficient way.”

Visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like What is a restrictive covenant?

Related articles

  • polling station


    What could a general election mean for employment law?

    Here's what the big three have each vowed to do should they come away with an election win.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Employment Law
  • NIC


    Conservatives plan NICs abolition for self employed

    After a difficult week, PM Rishi Sunak has set out a raft of tax measures at the Conservative manifesto launch with plans to abolish main NICs rate for four million self employed workers

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Employment Law
  • Global survey results


    UK Lagging in Mental Health Conversations: A Wake-Up Call for Employers

    The UK is diverging from this global trend, with a 4% decrease in employees speaking out about mental health issues.

    Peninsula Team Peninsula Team
    • Business Advice
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and health & safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.