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.
The number of people placed in permanent and temporary/contract roles continued to rise in November. Rates of expansion remained strong in both cases, despite easing to five-month lows.
Vacancies rise at strongest rate in over 15 years
Overall demand for staff increased at a faster pace in November. Growth was the sharpest since July 1998. Private sector demand for staff continued to show a much stronger trend than public sector demand.
Permanent salaries increase at fastest pace in six years...
Growth of permanent staff salaries accelerated further, reaching the strongest rate since November 2007. Temporary/contract staff pay rose at a solid pace that was sharper than in October.
...as decline in candidate availability gathers pace
The availability of candidates to fill permanent roles fell further in November, with the rate of decline quickening to the sharpest since July 2007. Temporary/contract staff availability meanwhile fell at the fastest pace in nine years.
All four monitored English regions posted increases in permanent placements, with the Midlands continuing to register the fastest growth.
The Midlands led a broad-based expansion of temporary/contract staff billings during November.
Private sector demand for staff remained stronger than public sector demand, according to the latest data.
The strongest growth was signalled for permanent workers in the private sector, although temporary/contract staff also posted a marked increase. In the public sector, however, rates of expansion were slight for both permanent and short-term workers.
Growth of demand was broad-based across all nine types of permanent staff monitored by the survey in November. The strongest rate of expansion was signalled for Engineering workers, as was the case in October. Close behind was Nursing/Medical/Care.
All nine categories of temporary/contract staff registered increased demand levels in November. The fastest rate of growth was indicated for Blue Collar workers, closely followed by Engineering employees. The slowest rise was signalled for Construction staff.
Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments: “Six months ago – after almost five years of pain – most employers were wondering just how real the signs of recovery were. But people have short memories and, if the latest recruitment figures are anything to go by, they may well now be wondering what all the fuss was about. Business certainly seems to be more confident because, as 2013 draws to a close, organisations across the UK are maintaining their recruitment drive to the point that the rate of growth in vacancies has reached a 15 year high."
“Of course, it is never that simple. The opportunities may exist but employees don’t seem keen to take them, with the proportion of candidates making themselves available falling at the sharpest rate for six years. It may be that people are still worried about job security but it is more likely that we are seeing a return of the traditional winter slowdown in recruitment as staff are more focused on Christmas than careers. As a result employers are trying to tempt top talent to change jobs by offering more in the way of cash or incentives. It’s a tactic that may bring short-term success, but the risk of falsely inflating the jobs market must be considered. Left unchecked, it could put unnecessary and unsustainable pressure on businesses just at the time their cash flow problems are easing.”
REC CEO Kevin Green says: “We enter the New Year with job vacancies increasing at the fastest pace in 15 years. The fact that our figures show starting salary growth hitting a six year high, combined with continued skill and talent shortages, indicates that we can expect salaries to increase and job fluidity to accelerate into 2014."
“Report on Jobs show that all sectors, all regions and both the private and public sector are in growth, which is fantastic news for British businesses, the UK economy and people looking for work in 2014.”
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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 provides cross-sector and pan-region analysis of the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
The Report features original research data from Markit, collected via questionnaire from a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. In 2010/11, some 1,049,333 people were employed in either temporary or contract work through consultancies and 604,193 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. Please contact email@example.com.
A regional Report on Jobs series is now available comprising four regional reports tracking labour market trends across the Midlands, the North of England, the South of England and London. The reports are designed to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to labour market trends and the data are directly comparable with the UK Report on Jobs.
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About Recruitment and Employment Confederation
15 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 9XT. Tel: 020 7009 2100. Fax: 0207 935 4112 Website: www.rec.uk.com
The REC is the professional body representing the UK’s £24.6 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.
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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.