Report on Jobs - Permanent and temporary appointments rise at faster rates in December

Report on Jobs - Permanent and temporary appointments

Recruitment consultants signalled a further increase in permanent staff appointments during December

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Key points:

  • Stronger growth of permanent placements
  • Temp billings increase at sharpest rate in three months
  • Strong pay growth underpinned by tight candidate availability


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.  

Permanent placements rise at faster rate…

Recruitment consultants signalled a further increase in permanent staff appointments during December. The rate of expansion was strong, having picked up from November’s 18-month low. However, the number of job vacancies available to people seeking permanent roles rose at the slowest pace since July 2013.

...while temp billings growth also accelerates

Short-term staff appointments increased at a sharper rate in December. The latest rise in temp billings was the strongest in three months.

Pay growth remains marked

Average starting salaries awarded to people placed in permanent jobs continued to rise, with the rate of growth little-changed from the strong pace recorded in November. Temp pay meanwhile increased at the sharpest rate in three months.

Candidate availability remains tight

The availability of staff to fill permanent job roles continued to fall in December. Although easing to the slowest in eight months, the rate of deterioration remained marked. Temp availability decreased sharply, with the latest reduction faster than that recorded in November.

Regional and sector variation

The fastest growth of permanent staff appointments was indicated in the South of England, while the slowest rise was signalled in the North.  In contrast to the trend seen for permanent placements, the strongest growth of temp billings was signalled by Northern-based agencies, while the South posted the slowest expansion. 

Private sector demand for staff remained substantially stronger than that from the public sector in December. Private sector permanent staff posted the fastest increase overall.   Accounting/Financial topped the demand for staff ‘league table’ in December, ahead of IT & Computing and Secretarial/Clerical. The slowest rise in demand was signalled for Construction workers.

Higher levels of demand were signalled for all monitored types of temporary/contract staff in December. The joint-strongest rates of growth were reported for Nursing/Medical/Care and Blue Collar workers.

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments:   “A strong year for the UK jobs market finished with a flourish as temporary roles saw an upswing in popularity.  More than 1 in 3 recruiters suggest that employees looking for short-term roles are being increasingly spoilt for choice as organisations search for help in an effort to fulfil customer orders."

"Good news for candidates also extends into the pay packet.  Once again, a shortage of skills in key areas has led to a rise in the starting salaries on offer.  It could mean that 2015 becomes the year in which the candidate finally becomes king.”

Kevin Green, REC chief executive, says: As we enter 2015 the jobs market continues its strong performance. Recruiters are helping an increasing number of businesses find new permanent employees, and skills shortages in most areas of the economy mean that competition for quality candidates is driving up starting salaries."

“Economic growth for 2015 looks sustainable, however the concern now is that political uncertainty could spook the market as we approach a general election. The prospect of increased government intervention in the labour market as promised by the Left, questions around Britain’s position in the EU which are being posed by the Right, and the potential for protracted negotiations around a hung parliament come May could affect business confidence and hence future hiring.”

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

- ENDS -


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.


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About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.9 billion in the year ended September 2014. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 162,000 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,


W1G 9XT.

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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