Report on Jobs - Growth of staff placements maintained in August

Report on Jobs - Growth of staff placements maint...

Staff demand in August rises but increase in overall vacancies was slowest in nine months

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Press Release

Key points:

  • Further moderate increases in permanent placements and temporary billings

  • Growth of vacancies continues to ease  

  • Weakest rise in permanent salaries for 22 months

  • Strongest rise in permanent candidate availability since January 2010  


The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.    

Staff appointments continued to increase at moderate pace

Permanent staff placements rose in August at a modest pace that was identical to that recorded in the previous month.

Similarly, growth of temporary staff billings held broadly steady since July....

...but growth of vacancies eased further. Although demand for staff continued to rise in August, the latest increase in overall vacancies was the slowest in nine months. Weaker rates of expansion were signalled for both permanent and temporary vacancies. Subdued pay pressures permanent staff salaries increased only marginally and at the slowest pace for 22 months in August. Inflation of temporary staff hourly pay rates quickened to a three-month high, but remained weak compared with the survey’s historical trend.    

Permanent candidate supply improved at the fastest pace since January 2010...

...amid higher levels of candidate availability. Recruiters indicated another rise in the availability of staff during August.

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, says: “The latest Report on Jobs from the REC and KPMG highlights the robustness of the UK jobs market. In the face of a slowing economy, falling consumer confidence and high inflation, private sector employers continue to hire staff. The numbers are lower than three months ago but placements continued to rise in August, which was the twenty-fifth consecutive month of growth. The figures also show that with a month to go before the introduction of new regulations covering agency workers that businesses continue to depend on and use this flexible resource."

“The UK jobs market is being incredibly resilient. Even with increasing job losses in the public sector and a new influx of school-leavers it is performing much better than many predicted. We are confident that this trend is set to continue and that the Agency Workers Regulations will not undermine the UK’s flexible labour market given that our members and their clients seem well prepared for the impact of the AWR next month.”

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments: Although the jobs market has held up relatively well, it remains in the summer doldrums and, worryingly, there seem to be early signs of trends similar to those of 2008. Whether this is a blip or a return to a familiar and unwelcome pattern will emerge over the next few months."

“Permanent and temporary staff appointments rose again in August but only at the same relatively low rates seen last month. And whilst it’s good that we are still seeing some growth in appointments, whether this can continue in the face of a decline in the rate of growth of vacancies remains to be seen. “Employers continue to take a cautious approach to hiring decisions amid an uncertain economic climate. Whether this will persist as the summer holidays draw to a close is an open question. Much will depend on macro-economic factors and their effect on overall confidence, especially where permanent hiring decisions are concerned. With candidate availability continuing to grow – notably permanent staff availability has improved at the fastest pace since January 2010 – it’s a buyers’ market should employers choose to step up their recruitment in the autumn.”  

- ENDS -  

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For further information, please contact:

Helen Ablett


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Jack Kennedy

Markit Economics (technical/data queries)

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Note to Editors:

The Report on Jobs is a monthly publication produced by Markit on behalf of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and KPMG. The report features original survey data which provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive monthly picture of recruitment, employment and employee earnings trends available. The Report features original research data from Markit, collected via questionnaire from a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. In 2000, some 1,326,000 people were employed in either temporary or contract work through consultancies and over 450,000 people were placed in permanent positions through consultancies. Data for the monthly survey were first collected in October 1997 and are collected at the end of each month, with respondents asked to specify the direction of change in a number of survey variables. All Index numbers are calculated from the percentages of respondents reporting an improvement, no change or decline. These indices vary between 0 and 100 with reading of exactly 50.0 signalling no change on the previous month. Readings above 50 signal an increase or improvement; readings below 50 signal a decline or deterioration. Reasons given by survey respondents for any changes are analysed to provide insight into the causes of movements in the indices and are also used to adjust for expected seasonal variations. Markit do not revise underlying survey data after first publication, but seasonal adjustment factors may be revised from time to time as appropriate which will affect the seasonally adjusted data series. Historical data relating to the underlying (unadjusted) numbers, first published seasonally adjusted series and subsequently revised data are available to subscribers from Markit.

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KPMG KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with nearly 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.6 billion in the year ended September 2009. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 144 countries and have more than 137,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.

Recruitment and Employment Confederation

15 Welbeck Street,



T: 020 7009 2100

F: 0207 935 4112


The REC is the representative association for the UK’s £22.5 billion private recruitment and staffing industry with more than 8,000 recruitment agencies and 6,000 recruitment consultants in membership. There are more than 1 million temporary workers registered with UK agencies who are deployed in industry, commerce and the public services every day. About Markit Markit is a leading, global financial information services company with over 2,200 employees. The company provides independent data, valuations and trade processing across all asset classes in order to enhance transparency, reduce risk and improve operational efficiency. Its client base includes the most significant institutional participants in the financial market place. For more information, see About PMIs Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) surveys are now available for 32 countries and also for key regions including the Eurozone. They are the most closely-watched business surveys in the world, favoured by central banks, financial markets and business decision makers for their ability to provide up-to-date, accurate and often unique monthly indicators of economic trends.

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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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