Availability of permanent candidates falls at sharpest rate since 1997

Availability of permanent candidates falls at sha...

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.

Also on KPMG.com

Steepest drop in permanent staff availability for 16½ years…

The availability of candidates to fill permanent roles fell further in May. Moreover, the rate of deterioration accelerated to the sharpest since November 1997. Temporary/contract staff availability was also down markedly, with the latest drop only slightly slower than April’s 13-year record. 

...contributes to robust pay growth

Although easing slightly from April’s 81-month high, the rate of growth in permanent salaries remained considerable in May. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates meanwhile rose at the fastest pace since December 2007.

Staff placements continue to increase at marked pace...

Permanent placements growth remained marked in May, despite moderating slightly since the previous month. Temporary/contract staff billings also rose strongly, with the rate of expansion quickening from April’s ten-month low.

...supported by strongly rising vacancies

Overall demand for staff continued to increase at a marked rate in May, although the pace of growth eased to a five-month low. Permanent vacancies again rose slightly faster than temporary/contract roles.

Regional and sector variation

The Midlands continued to register the strongest growth of permanent placements in May, while the slowest rise was indicated in London.

Temp billings growth was fastest in the Midlands, followed by the South. London and the North posted similar robust rates of expansion.

Private sector demand for staff remained considerably stronger than that in the public sector, according to the latest data. 

In both sectors, vacancy growth was faster for permanent employees than temporary staff. 

Accounting/Financial took over top spot in the demand for staff ‘league table’ in May. Engineering dropped to second place, although continued to register a marked rate of expansion overall. The slowest growth was signalled for Blue Collar workers.

Blue Collar workers were the most in-demand type of temporary staff in the latest survey period. Mirroring the trend for permanent employees, Engineering took second place in the table. Nursing/Medical/Care staff saw the slowest rise in demand for their services.


REC CEO Kevin Green said: “The UK’s jobs boom continues with vacancies increasing as employers look for new workers to meet increasing demand and to replace staff that have been snapped up by competitors.

“The creation of these jobs, combined with the return of job fluidity, is creating a dynamic labour market. However the big issue remains that employers are finding it hard to find the talent and skills they need, yet ONS figures show that we still have 2.2 million unemployed people in the UK.

“The political debate around immigration must acknowledge this skills shortage. Now is the time for government to reform the visa system to ensure that the UK retains a flexible labour market so our businesses can grow and create more jobs. This will give young people and the long term unemployed greater opportunities to enter the workforce and successfully progress up the career ladder.”  

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments: “Trying to fill vacancies in the current climate must feel like wandering through a hall of mirrors for the UK’s employers. No sooner are they in a position to reflect the improving economy by creating roles and offering tempting salaries, than the search for talent seems to reach a dead end, with candidates either preferring to hide in the shadows or failing to offer the appropriate skills.

“The latest figures also suggest that employees want more from their workplace than better pay and better benefits. Even though starting salaries continue to rise, job seekers are sending out a very clear message that remuneration is not the only reward they are after. With candidate availability at its lowest point for almost 17 years, individuals are saying that prospective employers are going to need to widen their offer to tempt top talent to move. It could mean that we have finally reached a point where employers have to consider reshaping roles, working arrangements and their own expectations or risk being caught out by an endless cycle of unfilled roles and unfulfilled workers struggling to cope with increasing workloads.”

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


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For further information, please contact:

Nahidur Rahman, KPMG Press Office

T: 020 7694 8812

M: 0788191 6975

E: nahidur.rahman@kpmg.co.u

KPMG Press Office: 020 7694 8773


Markit Economics (technical/data queries)

Jack Kennedy, Senior Economist

T: 01491 461087

E: jack.kennedy@markit.com


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 economics@markit.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.

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: 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.

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 www.markit.com

© 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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