Report on Jobs: Stronger growth of staff placements in February

Report on Jobs: Stronger 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:

  • Permanent placements rise at fastest pace in four months 
  • Temp billings increase at sharpest rate since last September
  • Salary growth remains marked


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. 

Stronger growth of staff appointments…

Permanent staff placements rose further in February. The rate of growth in appointments was marked and the fastest since last October. Temp billings meanwhile increased at the sharpest pace in five months.

...buoyed by improved demand for staff

Vacancies available for people seeking employment continued to rise in February. Overall demand for staff rose at the strongest rate in four months, with both permanent and temporary workers seeing faster increases. 

Further marked rise in salaries

Permanent staff starting salaries continued to increase in February. The rate of growth was unchanged from the marked pace seen in January. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates also rose further, with the latest increase stronger than seen one month previously.

Candidate availability continues to fall

The availability of staff to fill job vacancies decreased further in February. Both permanent and temporary candidate supply deteriorated to a greater extent than in the previous month, with the former recording the sharper decline.

Regional and sector variation

The fastest growth of placements was signalled by Midlands-based consultancies, while those in London reported the slowest rise.

Temp billings rose at the fastest rate in the Midlands, while the slowest growth was indicated by agencies based in the North.

Private sector demand for staff remained substantially stronger than that from the public sector during February. The sharpest increase overall was signalled for private sector permanent employees.

Engineering was the most sought-after category for permanent staff in the latest survey period, ahead of Nursing/Medical/Care. The weakest growth of demand was signalled for Hotel & Catering workers.

Demand rose for all monitored temporary/contract staff categories during February, with Nursing/Medical/Care retaining its lead in the demand for staff ‘league table’. The slowest growth was recorded for Executive/Professional.


Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments: “Recovery in the job market is gaining real traction, and this should help shore up consumer confidence in the run up to the election.

“However, while the job market might be booming, demand for staff is by no means universal across the sectors.  The recovery is being heavily driven by hiring activity by UK plc, while the public sector remains in a semi-stasis ahead of further anticipated cuts later in the year.

“The availability of skilled candidates remains a significant concern and businesses are already fiercely competing to secure top talent.  This dynamic is driving significant salary growth in pockets of the market, such as the IT and engineering sectors, where the demand/supply mismatch is particularly prevalent.”

Kevin Green, REC chief executive, says: “Recruiters are reporting talent shortages across the economy as businesses expand in response to increasing demand.

“This is a major challenge for employers, however those seeking work are feeling the benefit. A third of recruiters say that starting salaries for permanent jobs are increasing as competition for skilled staff drives up pay. 

“The question now is about sustainability. Skills shortages are threatening economic growth so politicians need to help business  address this issue by equipping jobseekers with the skills that businesses require and ensuring employers can access the skilled workers they need from abroad.”

He added, "This month’s report again highlights skill shortages in engineering and construction, which threaten to delay major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and new housebuilding initiatives.

“Candidates for marketing and customer service roles are now also becoming hard to fill. Demand for these roles is a sign that businesses are responding to increasing consumer and business confidence.”

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



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.


For media enquiries, please contact:


Zoe Sheppard, KPMG Press Office

T: 0117 905 4337

M: 07770 737 994


KPMG Press Office: +44 (0) 207 694 8773

Follow us on twitter: @kpmguk



Liz Banks / Alasdair Reynolds, REC Press Office

T: 0207 009 2157 / 2192


Supported by Speed Communications – Kerry Grove


T: 0117 906 4517


Markit Economics (technical/data queries):

Jack Kennedy, Senior Economist

T: 01491 461087



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 the Recruitment & Employment Confederation

Dorset House, First Floor, 27-45 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NT. Tel: 020 7009 2100 Website:

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) is the professional body for the UK’s £28.7 billion recruitment industry. The REC represents 3,349 corporate members who have branches across all regions of the UK. In addition, the REC represents 5,759 individual members within the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP). All members must abide by a code of professional practice. Above all, the REC is committed to raising standards and highlighting excellence throughout the industry.

About Markit

Markit is a leading global diversified provider of financial information services.  We provide products that enhance transparency, reduce risk and improve operational efficiency. Our customers include banks, hedge funds, asset managers, central banks, regulators, auditors, fund administrators and insurance companies.  Founded in 2003, we employ over 3,000 people in 10 countries. Markit shares are listed on NASDAQ under the symbol “MRKT”.  For more information, please see

© Copyright in the Report on Jobs, including the Report on Jobs survey data, is owned by Markit Economics Limited. Any unauthorised use, including but not limited to copying, distributing, transmitting or otherwise of any data appearing is not permitted without Markit’s prior consent. Markit shall not have any liability, duty or obligation for or relating to the content or information (“data”) contained herein, any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or delays in the data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.  In no event shall Markit be liable for any special, incidental, or consequential damages, arising out of the use of the data. Markit is a registered trade mark of Markit Group Limited.

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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