Report on Jobs: Permanent placements rise

Report on Jobs: Permanent placements rise

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market.

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Key points:

  • faster rise in permanent placements but growth of temp billings eases
  • salaries for permanent staff increase at sharpest rate since October 2007
  • candidate availability declines at stronger pace


Permanent appointments rise at strongest rate in almost four years

Recruitment consultants signalled the fastest growth of permanent staff appointments in almost four years during February. However, temporary staff billings increased at the slowest pace in three months.    


Demand for staff continues to grow strongly

February data indicated a further marked rise in vacancies. The rate of expansion was only marginally below January’s fifteen-and-a-half year high.  


Sharpest rise in permanent salaries since October 2007

Growth of permanent salaries accelerated in February, reaching the highest rate in over six years. Temporary staff pay increased at the fastest pace since last July.


Candidate availability falls at sharper rate

The availability of staff was reported to have declined again in February. In particular, the supply of permanent candidates fell at the sharpest rate since November 2004.


Regional and sector variation

Growth of permanent placements was strongest in the North of England during the latest survey period, while London posted the slowest (but still marked) increase. Midlands-based agencies signalled the strongest increase in temp billings during February, while growth was slowest in the South.

Private sector demand for permanent staff rose at a steep rate in February, with the latest increase the sharpest since data were first available in December 2011. Private sector demand for temporary staff also grew at a series-record pace. Rates of expansion in the public sector were solid but considerably slower than in the private sector.  

Engineering remained at the top of the demand for staff ‘league table’ in February. Construction and Nursing/Medical/Care also registered strong rates of growth. The slowest rise in demand was indicated for Blue Collar workers. Occupying top position in the temporary/contract staff demand rankings during February was Nursing/Medical/Care. The Blue Collar and Secretarial/Clerical categories completed the top three.



Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, says: “Working Britain appears to be suffering from a clash of confidence. With permanent appointments rising at the strongest rate for almost four years, employers appear determined to show they are secure enough to make long-term commitments. Candidates, on the other hand, are less certain, preferring to stay put than advance their careers in a new environment."

“Yet individuals’ nervousness may be misplaced. Temporary placements are falling and with starting salaries rising at their highest rate for almost seven years, all the indications are that any concerns over job security may be unwarranted. The simple fact is that employers wouldn’t be competing to offer candidates ever increasing salaries if they couldn’t afford to sustain them. Doing so would be a short-term folly and run the risk of undermining recovery."

“Those in the North are recruiting hardest and fastest, and even the slowest area - in London – is seeing a marked increase. The hope now must be that employees and employers rethink their approach and the clash of confidence is replaced by a meeting of minds.”


REC CEO Kevin Green adds: “This month’s figures show the second highest ever results in permanent placements since Report on Jobs began in 1997. The positive trend of rising vacancies continues and this is supported by our Jobs Outlook data on employers’ hiring intentions that shows businesses will be taking on more workers in 2014 as their confidence grows."  

“However the number of candidates available to fill vacancies continues to fall and this is becoming a business critical issue in highly skilled roles. Recruiters are struggling to source the managerial and technical skills that employers require and this will only get worse as the economy strengthens."

“Negative rhetoric on immigration from politicians fails to consider the immediate needs of British businesses. The government must address the restrictions on visas for highly skilled workers. This would allow businesses to access the people they need to grow and create jobs for more British workers.”

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


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For further information, please contact:


Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office

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M: 07917 384 576


Markit Economics (technical/data queries)

Jack Kennedy, Senior Economist

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KPMG Press Office: +44 (0) 207 694 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,



T: 020 7009 2100

F: 0207 935 4112


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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