Report on Jobs - Strong growth of staff placements

Report on Jobs - Strong growth of staff placements

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.

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Key points:

  • Growth of permanent and temporary appointments eases but remains marked
  • Vacancies rise at fastest pace since May 1998
  • Permanent salary growth virtually unchanged from December’s six-year high

Further sharp rises in permanent placements and temp billings

Permanent staff placements continued to increase strongly in January, although the pace of expansion eased from the 45-month high recorded in December. Similarly, temp billings rose at a rate only marginally slower than December’s 15-year peak.

Strongest growth of demand for staff since May 1998

Overall job vacancies rose at a sharp and accelerated rate in January. The pace of expansion was the fastest in over fifteen-and-a-half years.

Permanent salaries continue to increase markedly…

The rate of growth of permanent staff salaries remained elevated at the start of 2014, holding at a pace broadly in line with December’s six-year peak.

...amid declining availability of candidates

Further falls in staff availability were signalled in January. Both permanent and temporary candidate numbers declined at marked rates, albeit the slowest in three months.

Regional and sector variation

Marked increases in permanent placements were signalled in all four monitored English regions, with the South posting the steepest rise. Growth of temp billings was signalled in each of the English regions during January. The strongest rate of expansion was indicated in the North, followed by the Midlands.

Demand for staff rose in both the public and private sectors during January, with the latter registering the faster growth. In both sectors, permanent staff saw a stronger improvement in demand for their services than temporary workers. Engineering remained the most in-demand category for permanent staff in January, closely followed by Construction. Rates of growth were marked elsewhere and in all cases faster than long-run series averages.

Demand rose for all nine types of temporary/contract staff in January. As was the case for permanent employees, the strongest rate of expansion was indicated for Engineering workers. The slowest growth was signalled in the Construction category.


Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments: “Employer confidence continues to grow, with the thirst for new staff hitting a fifteen-and-a-half year high in January. In a week showing improvements to UK construction figures and growth across the Eurozone manufacturing industry, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if other sectors begin to report peaks in performance.

“Yet no one should be fooled into thinking that the road ahead will be easy to travel. Earlier this week markets across the globe fell as investors were rattled by weak data. It’s unlikely to herald a crisis, but should serve to ensure employers remain vigilant to business threats.

“The warning has been noted by employees because, although jobs are being created, January saw another decline in the number of people putting themselves on the jobs market. The preference seems to be for temporary roles, suggesting that employees are adopting a ‘try before you buy’ mentality before committing to long-term roles.”

The REC’s Tom Hadley said: “The squeeze on people’s finances continues to dominate the news but this month’s data shows there is hope for workers. All regions around the country are seeing permanent starting salaries and hourly pay rates continue to grow driven by skills shortages across an ever growing range of sectors.”

“Britain’s building boom and major infrastructure projects have seen demand for permanent construction and engineering workers soar this month – however recruiters are struggling to source skilled people to satisfy this demand.

“The report shows many of the latest in-demand roles are being sought by employers looking to invest in staff to build their businesses including customer services, marketing and sales roles, although there are skills shortages across all sectors. This again underlines just how critical the issue of skills shortages is becoming, as businesses will not be able to contribute to economic growth if they cannot find the skilled workers they need. Part of the solution is to develop a careers guidance network that is fit for purpose and raises awareness of growth sectors and current and future skills needs.”

Full reports and historical data from the Report on Jobs are available by subscription.

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For further information, please contact:


Mike Petrook

KPMG Press Office

T: 020 7311 5271

M: 07917 384 576



Markit Economics (technical/data queries)

Jack Kennedy

Senior Economist

T: 01491 461087



KPMG Press Office: 020 7694 8773



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

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.

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 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. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. About Recruitment and Employment Confederation 15 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 9XT. Tel: 020 7009 2100. Fax: 0207 935 4112 Website: 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.

About Markit

Markit is a leading, global financial information services company with over 3,000 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 © Copyright in the Report on Jobs, including the Report on Jobs survey data, is owned by Markit Economics Limited. Distribution or storage including databasing by any means including, without limitation, electronic distribution is not permitted without the prior consent of Markit.

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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