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.
Growth of staff appointments eases further…
Although permanent placements continued to rise in August, the rate of growth eased further, hitting a 27-month low. Similarly, temporary/contract staff billings increased at the slowest pace since May 2013.
…restricted by skill shortages
The availability of candidates for permanent roles fell further in August, with the rate of decline accelerating to the sharpest for a year. Temporary/contract staff availability was also down, with the latest drop the most marked in ten months.
Salary growth remains strong…
Starting salaries for people placed in permanent roles continued to increase in August. The rate of growth remained strong relative to the survey’s historical average. Temporary/contract staff pay rose further, albeit at the slowest pace in 16 months.
…supported by robust demand
Vacancies continued to rise at a marked rate in August. Demand for permanent staff continued to rise at a faster pace than that for temps, with the latter seeing the slowest growth for 26 months.
Regional and sector variation
Midlands-based consultancies signalled the strongest growth of permanent placements during the latest survey period, while those in London recorded the weakest increase.
The Midlands saw the fastest growth of short-term appointments, while the slowest expansion was signalled in the North.
Private sector permanent roles saw the strongest growth in August. In contrast, public sector permanent vacancies rose only marginally.
Nursing/Medical/Care remained the most sought-after category for permanent staff in August. The slowest (albeit still solid) rate of expansion was signalled for Hotel & Catering workers.
As was the case for permanent staff, Nursing/Medical/Care posted the fastest increase in demand for temporary/contract workers in August. Executive/Professional was the slowest-growing category.
REC chief executive Kevin Green, says: “The UK jobs market is entering a new phase. Because of the scarcity of talent available, we expect that employment will continue to grow but at a slower speed than we have seen over the past two years. Likewise, unemployment is likely to slow its rate of descent as we move closer to full employment.
“In response to worsening skills shortages, employers are focussing on retaining the staff they have and this will promote wage growth. Better investment in training and motivating the current workforce should also help to improve productivity.
“Clearly, major problems remain. Across the private sector and in vital public sector roles such as teaching and healthcare, talent shortages are reaching crisis point. We need a more active focus on skills and progression from the government as well as a balanced approach to immigration to get to grips with these entrenched workforce issues.”
Bernard Brown, Partner at KPMG, comments: “There was no respite for recruiters in August, who were left struggling to fill vacancies after a vast swathe of Britain’s job seekers appeared to take the summer off. The number of people looking for a job fell at the sharpest rate seen for a year, leaving unfilled posts across the economy.
“Many candidates may have simply shelved their plans for the summer, believing their prospects to be stronger in September. However this is of little comfort to those businesses needing staff now to meet demand for their goods and services.
“This frustrating dynamic continues to have an inflationary effect on pay, which rose yet again in August. With candidates having their pick of the job market, companies need to offer more than just cash. In order to attract and retain the best people businesses need to offer a bespoke package of benefits, including flexible working, which can be tailored to suit the individual and their priorities and commitments.”
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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 2013/14, 1,155,932 people were employed in either temporary or contract work through consultancies and 634,608 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 the Recruitment & Employment Confederation
Dorset House, First Floor, 27-45 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NT | T: 020 7009 2100 | Website: www.rec.uk.com
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.
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