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.
October data signalled a further increase in permanent staff placements. Growth was solid and the sharpest in four months. Temporary/contract staff billings also rose at a faster pace, with the rate of expansion at a three-month high.
…underpinned by robust demand for staff
Vacancies continued to rise at a marked pace in October. Growth of demand for permanent employees remained sharper than that for temporary/contract staff.
Permanent staff salary growth remained strong in October, and was similar to the rates seen during the third quarter. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay increased at a solid pace, albeit slower than that seen for permanent salaries.
The availability of staff to fill permanent job roles fell further in October. Although easing to the slowest since January, the rate of decline remained sharp. Temporary/contract staff availability also decreased markedly, and at a slightly faster pace than in September.
Regional and sector variation
The Midlands led a broad-based increase in demand for permanent staff during October, followed by the North. Rates of expansion in the South and London were modest.
The sharpest rate of growth for temporary/contract staff was registered by agencies based in the Midlands, while those in the North saw the weakest increase.
Latest data signalled that demand remained considerably stronger in the private sector than the public sector. The sharpest overall increase was recorded for private sector permanent staff.
Accounting/Financial remained the most sought-after category for permanent staff in October. IT & Computing was in second place in the demand for staff ‘league table’. The slowest rise was reported for Hotel & Catering workers.
Nursing/Medical/Care retained top spot in the temporary/contract staff demand rankings during the latest survey period. The weakest increase was reported for Executive/Professional staff.
Bernard Brown, Partner at KPMG, comments:
“While hiring continued at pace across most areas of the economy, the figures point to a worrying development in the construction sector.
“It is clear the industry is suffering from a chronic skills shortage along its entire supply chain, with recruiters struggling to meet demand for roles ranging from architects to construction workers. As a result salaries in the sector are soaring, with the average weekly rise reaching 5.1%, vastly outpacing the private sector average of 3.4%.
“With Britain in the grips of a housing crisis, this shortage of skilled workers could throw a serious spanner in the works, slowing projects in the pipeline and pushing up overall build costs as developers bid high to secure the labour they need. Businesses will want to see this addressed in the Autumn Statement, with measures to boost apprenticeships and encourage the return of small and medium sized builders, many of whom left the industry in the midst of the recession. By addressing this crucial capacity issue and rebalancing the industry away from the bigger developers, Britain can build the skills base it needs.”
REC chief executive Kevin Green, says:
“The jobs-rich recovery looks set to continue, with more people being placed into permanent positions last month and businesses across the UK creating more vacancies.
“However, there remains a big question about sustainability. Employers report an increasing number of skills shortage areas in both the public and the private sector. Starting salaries continue to rise as businesses battle to attract the people they need but it’s unclear how much longer this trend can continue.
“The government must focus on alleviating the skills crisis which threatens economic growth. We need a balanced approach to immigration so that businesses can bring in the people they need right now. Domestically, young people must be better incentivised to acquire the knowledge and skills that are needed most by hirers. A real commitment to delivering world-class careers advice and work experience would be a big step in the right direction.”
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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.
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About the Recruitment & Employment Confederation
Dorset House, First Floor, 27-45 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NT. Tel: 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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