25 Changes to the UK Labour Market Over the Past 25 Years

Written by EFP

The changes in the labour market over the past 25 years have been profound and varied. One of these changes is how technology has played a huge role in our jobs and careers, including how we apply for them. This article will look at some of these changes and what they might mean for workers today.

Changing Trends in UK Employment

  1. The Social Media Boom: Massive growth in social media use has unlocked a multitude of new careers. Social media has unlocked a new way of doing business, from social media marketing to celebrity influencers.
  2. The Rise of the Gig Economy: The gig economy has exploded in recent years, with more people than ever working as freelancers or contractors. This shift away from traditional employment has brought new opportunities and challenges for workers.
  3. The Age of Automation: With the rise of machines and artificial intelligence, many jobs are now being done by robots. This has led to concerns about job security and the future of work.
  4. Self-Employment: In recent years, self-employment has increased massively, with many people choosing to go it alone. This trend is predicted to continue as changes are seen across the job market.
  5. The Growth of Online Recruitment: The internet has revolutionised how we search for jobs, with online recruitment becoming increasingly popular. This has made it easier than ever to find your dream job – but also opened up new opportunities for scam artists.
  6. The Decline of the CV: With the growth of online recruitment, CVs have become less and less important. Instead, employers are now looking for other ways to assess candidates through social media or assessing their real-life skills.
  7. Job Hunting via Mobile Devices: Job seekers increasingly use mobile devices to search for jobs. This has led to changes in how sites are designed and how employers advertise their jobs.
  8. The Rise of Employer Branding: With so many qualified candidates applying for each job opening, it is now more critical than ever for companies to have a strong employer brand. Good company culture and reputation can distinguish between getting the best talent and losing out.
  9. Increase in Online Training Opportunities:  With the growth of online learning, there are now more opportunities than ever to gain new skills and qualifications. This has led to an increase in people working remotely or from home.
  10. The Decline of Traditional Interviews: With so many people applying for jobs online, employers no longer rely on interviews to assess candidates. Instead, they use other methods such as skill tests or personality assessments.
  11. The Increase in Voluntary Job Losses: In recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of people choosing to leave their jobs voluntarily. This may be due to changes in the job market or workers wanting more flexibility and work-life balance.
  12. The Rise of Job Scams: As online recruitment has become more popular, so have scams targeting job seekers. It is essential to be aware of these and only apply for jobs via trusted websites.
  13. Mental Health Support:  In recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of employers offering mental health support to their employees. This is due to the recognition that good mental health is essential for a productive workforce.
  14. The Growth of Telecommuting: Telecommuting has made it easier than ever for people to work from home. This has led to changes in how people work, changes for employers, and changes to public transport systems.
  15. The Growth of Freelancing: Freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular way to work, with many people choosing to freelance due to its flexibility. This has led to changes in how workers are paid and how employers find talent.
  16. The Rise of Social Entrepreneurship: Social entrepreneurship is rising, with more and more people starting businesses with a social aim. This has led to changes in how companies are started and funded, with secondary effects on customers and employees. 
  17. Unemployment at Record Low Levels: Unemployment levels are now lower than ever since 1990 (Office for National Statistics). This is partly due to changes in how we work, politics, and other economic factors.
  18. The Growth of Apprenticeships: With unemployment levels at record lows, more people than ever choose to take advantage of apprenticeship programs. These give young people access to training while providing employers with a pool of skilled employees.
  19. Paternal Leave: In recent years, there have been changes surrounding paternity leave entitlements. This is due to changes in how families are structured and other forms of social progress. 
  20. Digital Literacy: To remain competitive in the job market, it is now essential to have digital literacy skills. As more and more jobs become automated or outsourced, these changes will affect the entire population.
  21. Increase in degree holders:  In the past 25 years, there has been a massive increase in people obtaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees. This is primarily fuelled by how competitive the job market has become. This means that employers are now looking for candidates with more than just basic skills.
  22. Increase in low-skilled labour: To remain competitive, many businesses have stopped offering mid-skilled positions due to automation or outsourcing. This has led to an increase in low-skilled labour, which can be difficult for some people to find employment in.
  23. Permanent Jobs becoming Scarce: In recent years, there has been a decline in the number of permanent jobs available. This is due to changes in how businesses are run and changes in the economy.
  24. Narrowing of the Gender Gap: Since the late 1990s, the gender gap has been narrowing, with more women than ever entering the workforce. This is due to social progress and more opportunities becoming accessible to women. Income inequality is also narrowing as the gender pay gap has decreased by almost a quarter since 2011 (ONS).
  25. Job Sharing: Job sharing is becoming an increasingly popular way to work, with many people choosing to share a job to have more flexibility. This has led to changes in how workers are paid and how employers find talent.

So there you have it! 25 ways that the job market in the UK has changed over the past 25 years. We hope this article has been informative and interesting. For live job opportunities, take a look at the specialist Refreshing a Career jobs board!

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